Taiwan’s Far EasTone (FET) is said to have made an open call for tenders for the procurement of between 7,000 and 8,000 4G base transceiver stations (BTS), with Sweden’s Ericsson, Huawei of China and Finland-based Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) all named as possible bidders. According to the Digitimes, the result of the tender is expected to be announced before the end of the year. With FET having acquired LTE-suitable spectrum in the 700MHz and 1800MHz bands following the state’s frequency auction which concluded in October 2013, the operator plans to initially offer 4G via the 700MHz band in the first half of next year. Nonetheless, it is understood that in its tender it is looking to acquire BTS capable of operating using both the 700MHz and 1800MHz frequencies.
Meanwhile, in separate but related news, FET’s rival Chunghwa Telecom has set out its stall to cover 60% of the population in six metropolitan areas within the first year of it offering 4G services, with that figure rising to 90% in all counties in the second year, and 90% in all rural areas in the third. The Digitimes notes that Chunghwa has said it will need to deploy 3,000 BTS to achieve its initial goal, while it expects to have constructed more than 10,000 BTS nationwide once the LTE network rollout is complete. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month Chunghwa outlined plans to spend up to TWD40 billion (USD1.4 billion) on deploying more than 7,000 LTE-enabled base stations to cover at least 96% of the population over the next five years.