Taiwan NCC to release 4G licenses for mobile Internet

Taiwan’s Internet users will be able to enjoy faster connectivity following the latest decision by the National Communications Commission to release 270 megahertz of bandwidth to mobile service operators.

“The decision is a key component of ROC government efforts to promote next-generation broadband Internet services with a peak download rate of 100 megabits per second,” an NCC official said.

“It will also ensure healthier competition among local service operators, provide more choices for consumers and increase bandwidth usage efficiency.”

Expanded bandwidth is likely to promote the development of more innovative mobile services and applications, the official said, adding that the NCC has urged local telecommunication firms to fast-track infrastructure investment.

According to the official, the new offerings are available in 700 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, with minimum and maximum bandwidths for individual operators set at 30 MHz and 90 MHz.

The NCC is set to begin processing applications in July 2013 and expects to issue a maximum of eight licenses after a four-month review. Given the time required to put in place requisite infrastructure, the official predicts Taiwan’s first commercial fourth-generation Internet service will be up and running in 2014.

A key feature of the plan, the official said, is that licensees can transfer part of their acquired bandwidths to other firms for more operating flexibility—a new management approach not seen since the government began deregulating Taiwan’s communications market in 1996.

The official said the NCC will organize a presentation Nov. 30 in Taipei City to bring prospective bidders and the public up to speed on the latest 4G license proposal.

Meg Chang