Taiwans’ National Communications Commission (NCC) has reportedly given formal permission to three of the companies that won LTE-suitable spectrum last year to launch commercial 4G services. According to the Taipei Times, Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile Company and Far EasTone are now expected to inaugurate their respective LTE networks in the coming months. For its part, the report cites Chunghwa Telecom’s chief executive Rick Tsai as confirming that the operator aims to launch in July 2014, with a view to achieving population coverage of at least 40% by the end of the year. Taiwan Mobile meanwhile is also aiming for a July launch, with the company having said it hopes to offer 17 4G-compatible mobile handsets when it commercialises the technology.
In the Taiwanese government’s 4G spectrum auction which was completed in October 2013 Chunghwa secured the B2 block in the 900MHz frequency band, as well as C2 and C5 blocks in the 1,800MHz frequency band at a total cost of TWD39.08 billion (USD1.29 billion). For its part, Taiwan Mobile acquired the A4 frequency block in the 700MHz spectrum and the C1 block in the 1,800MHz spectrum for TWD29.01 billion, while Far EasTone secured the A2 block in the 700MHz spectrum, as well as the C2 and the C4 blocks in the 1,800MHz frequency band with a TWD31.32 billion bid.