Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (FET, 遠傳電信) yesterday spent an additional NT$4.11 billion (US$135.2 million) combined to secure optimal 5G bandwidth, boosting the nation’s 5G auction total to NT$142.19 billion.
The auction price was the world’s third-highest after Germany and Italy, which raised 6.55 billion euros each through 5G bandwidth auctions.
In the second phase of the auction, telecoms bid to secure bandwidth on optimal zones in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) frequency band, after month-long negotiations over arrangements of frequency regions failed.
Chunghwa Telecom spent another NT$2.08 billion acquiring spectrum from 3.42GHz to 3.51GHz, the best zone in the 3.5GHz band, given extensive equipment supply and no second-harmonic frequency interference from existing 4G networks.
“Despite a higher-than-expected cost, our plan for 5G deployment remains unchanged. We aim to launch 5G service in July, based on which our customers will be able to watch the Tokyo Olympics in 4K and VR,” Chunghwa chairman Sheih Chi-mau (謝繼茂) said in a statement.
The nation’s biggest telecom has spent NT$48.37 billion to win bandwidth in the 5G auction, company data showed. In the previous round, Chunghwa Telecom secured 90 megahertz (MHz) of premium bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band.
FET spent an additional NT$2.03 billion on securing spectrum from 3.34GHz to 3.42GHz, both also considered good zones, the company said.
FET plans to launch 5G service in the third quarter.
Although it did not win frequency in the best area, the carrier said that it is confident that it can still offer faster Internet connections and better 5G services than its rivals, as it won 80MHz bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band.
FET has spent NT$43.04 billion in the two rounds of bidding, company data showed.
Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Taiwan Star Telecom Co (台灣之星) yesterday did not spend anything vying for the optimal zones, gaining space in the spectrum of 3.51GHZ to 3.57GHZ and 3.3GHZ to 3.34GHZ respectively, the companies said.
Those zones are considered less ideal, as fewer manufacturers provide terminals and equipment for them and they might experience interference from satellites, a market observer said.
Taiwan Mobile said that its bandwidth would be enough to serve customers for the next decade, as it plans to launch 5G service in the third quarter, while Taiwan Star said that it would launch its new service as soon as possible.
Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star spent NT$30.65 billion and NT$19.7 billion respectively in the two phases respectively, companies data showed.
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