Taiwan Mobile obtains 5G licence; APT explores spectrum sharing options

18 Jun 2020

Taiwan Mobile Company has become the third of the country’s mobile network operators (MNOs) to receive its 5G operating licence from the National Communications Commission (NCC), the Taipei Times writes. With the cellco having originally planned to construct 2,000 5G base transceiver stations (BTS) by the end of 2020, it has reportedly updated its business plan, doubling this deployment target to 4,000 BTS. Commenting on the upgraded rollout plan, NCC spokesperson Hsia Chi-hung was cited as saying: ‘This highlights the competition among telecoms. Apparently, all of them are ready to launch services in the third quarter of this year.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Chunghwa Telecom was the first operator to receive its 5G operating licence earlier this month, with the announcement that Far EasTone had received its concession coming just a week later.

Meanwhile, in related news, MNO Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) is said to be examining its options with a view to offering commercial 5G services, having only secured 28GHz spectrum in the government’s January 2020 auction, where rival providers each obtained 3.5GHz spectrum. In this regard, APT chairman Lu Fang-ming told journalists this week: ‘We are negotiating with local peers to access their 3.5GHz network. We will send a new business plan to offer 5G services over both the 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands after the Telecommunications Management Act take effect on 1 July’.

While the executive did not disclose the names of its potential partners, the Taipei Times’ notes that the NCC had revealed APT was in talks with Taiwan Mobile regarding a possible deal to build and share 5G infrastructure.