Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has suggested that people with subscriptions to mobile operator Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) could be given at least 18 months to fully migrate to Far EasTone’s (FET’s) network, should the authorities approve a merger of the two companies. According to the Taipei Times, this timeline was mentioned at a news conference which followed a review of the proposed merger between APT and FET, as well as of the planned tie-up of Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star.
NCC deputy chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung said that the regulatory body’s commissioners have focused on how operators involved in the two mergers aim to address issues such as the integration of existing networks and job transitions for employees. With FET understood to have said it expects to take at least a year and half to complete the integration with APT’s infrastructure, Taiwan Mobile has not yet issued an expected timeline for integration, although has confirmed its intention to submit a written report on this matter.
Meanwhile, the NCC was also said to have confirmed that it plans to negotiate with the Ministry of Digital Affairs (MoDA) to resolve issues regarding the exceeding of bandwidth limits that will arise from the mergers. Notably, Taiwan Mobile’s proposed tie-up with Taiwan Star would give the enlarged entity 60MHz of spectrum across bands below 1GHz, a figure which would exceed the cap of one-third (50MHz) of all auctioned frequencies in such bands.
In terms of next steps, NCC chairman Chen Yaw-shyang – who presided over the meeting – ordered that discussions regarding the two planned mergers be restarted once the operators involved provided supplementary information to the NCC; the quartet of telcos have reportedly been directed to submit such information within one week.