Taiwan Awards WiMAX Licenses



Digitimes reports that Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) on July 26 awarded six companies regional WiMAX operating licenses in a second-round bid, according to the agency. Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) and Taiwan Mobile (TWM, represented by its wholly owned subsidiary Tahsin United Telecom), each failed to secure a license.

First International Telecom (Fitel), which submitted the highest bid of 12.89% of annual WiMAX service revenues, plans to initially kick off operations in the Taipei metropolitan area in the third quarter of 2008, the company indicated. Fitel plans to complete 950 base stations in 2008 and then eventually expand the network to 1,500-2,000 base stations throughout northern Taiwan.

Taiwan’s six WiMAX operating licensees

Designated 30MHz radio frequency band

Licensee and its quoted percentage for operation in the northern Taiwan region

Licensee and its quoted percentage for operation in the southern Taiwan region

2565-2595MHz

Fitel, 12.89%

FET, 4.18%

2595-2625MHz

Global On Corporation, 6.19%

Tatung Telecom, 7.25%

2660-2690MHz

WiMAX Telecom, 5.2%

Vastar Cable TV Systems, 8.69%

Source:Digitimes, July 2007

Cellular operators CHT, TWM and FET were expected to quote lower percentages than the other five candidates because they are existing operators of 2G, 3G and HSDPA services and thus were unwilling to secure WiMAX licenses at a high price, according to industry sources. In addition, as NCC plans to issue two nationwide WiMAX licenses in 2009, the top three were not motivated to quote high percentages in this particular bid, the sources noted.

The island’s three largest mobile phone service providers all applied for WiMax licenses. Chunghwa Telecom, the biggest phone company in Taiwan, applied to bid for licenses in both the north and south of Taiwan, as did Far Eastone Telecom and a subsidiary of Taiwan Mobile.

Nortel is providing Chunghwa Telecom with IEEE 802.16e gear, incorporating Nortel’s patented MIMO antenna technology. Nortel’s MIMO is a key capability enabling the provision of the most demanding real-time applications such as VoIP and voice over WiMAX.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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