NCC to measure 5G speeds next year; expects to finish network inspections next month

13 Sep 2021

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced plans to measure the transmission speeds of 5G services from the first quarter of next year, the Taipei Times reports. With the regulator noting it has yet to examine the speeds offered over the 5G networks deployed by the nation’s cellcos since their launch last year, it has indicated it plans to publish the results of its speed tests in 2023.

NCC Chief Secretary Chen Chung-shu confirmed that the agency was still finalising its methodology to measure speeds, as well as how to present the results, with the executive stating: ‘Most 5G services around the world use a non-standalone model, meaning that part of the service would still be offered through 4G cell stations … Through a strategic partnership agreement, Asia-Pacific Telecom uses the 5G spectrum and network owned and built by Far EasTone Telecommunications. Under these situations, we have to figure out proper ways to present the results of a speed test.’

In related news, the government will soon award subsidies to Taiwan’s mobile network operators (MNOs) as part of an incentive scheme designed to accelerate installation of 5G base stations. The Executive Yuan, the executive branch of the government, is understood to have allocated between TWD9.9 billion and TWD15.4 billion (USD358 million-USD556 million) for 2021 and TWD5.5 billion for 2022 as part of an incentive scheme which will reward 5G operators who build more cell stations than they had pledged in their business plan.

With the NCC having promulgated rules governing the distribution of these subsidies in March 2021, it is now planning to finish network inspections in October, with the commission’s vice chairman, Wong Po-tsung, noting: ‘In August, we distributed about TWD2.9 billion of this year’s budget after we reviewed firms’ cell station construction plans … We are to verify whether they have achieved what they promised, with the survey to be completed by the end of next month.’ According to Wong, operators could receive their full subsidies for this year by the end of November 2021, subject to the findings of the inspections.