Taiwanese mobile operator Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) has been told it needs to improve its 4G coverage before it can share the 5G spectrum and network belonging to rival Far EasTone (FET). According to the Taipei Times, the stipulation was made as the National Communications Commission (NCC) began reviewing a partnership application from the two cellcos, with FET president Chee Ching and APT president Huang Nan-ren attending a weekly commissioners’ meeting to answer questions regarding the matter.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2020 FET agreed to pay TWD5 billion (USD178 million) to acquire an 11.58% stake in APT, while in a parallel move the two parties also inked a spectrum sharing deal, under which APT would gain access to FET’s 5G-suitable 3.5GHz spectrum, paying TWD9.47 billion to use the frequencies, while also sharing network deployment costs. Should the NCC ultimately opt to approve the partnership application, it has been noted that it would mark the first time in Taiwan that two cellcos had offered services using the same spectrum and network.
Commenting on the matter, NCC Vice Chairman Wong Po-tsung said: ‘We are cautiously optimistic about the partnership, but we want the two carriers to offer more information on how each of them can manage the network independently, maintain 5G service quality, raise the service coverage rate and ensure full disclosure of information.’