Sat, Mar 10, 2012 - Page 2 News List

NCC to meet over e-Tag license amid talk of 4G clashes

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) will meet next week to discuss the radio frequencies slated to be used for the upcoming e-Tag freeway system amid concerns the frequencies could interference with a future fourth-generation (4G) telecoms network.

According to Lo Chin-hsien (羅金賢), deputy director of the Technologies Administration Department, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has applied for a license to use the bandwidth between 922 and 926 megahertz for the e-Tag system.

The e-Tag system utilizes radio-frequency identification technology and is designed to enable the National Freeway Bureau to charge freeway users by the number of kilometers they travel. It is scheduled to be implemented next year.

The ministry is currently testing the bandwidth in a trial operation, but concerns about a future clash with a 4G network persist, Lo said.

“Our tests showed that the [e-Tag] system won’t clash with the 2G [second-generation] network since there are adequate buffers between the two spectrums,” Luo said.

“However, the nation is planning to phase out the 2G bandwidth, which could then be used to develop a 4G network. We are concerned that the e-Tag and 4G systems could interfere with one another because the buffers between the two would not be large enough,” Luo said.

Commission spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said the interference generated by the two adjacent networks is only one of the issues that the commission will be addressing next week.

“If the interference problem cannot be solved, we want to know if it is possible to move [the e-Tag system] to another radio band,” Chen said.

“We know we can always issue a license that is only valid for two or three years and annul it later, but this would be a hassle to the 6 million motorists nationwide who might need new e-Tags if the frequencies are changed. We don’t want to be blamed for delivering such a flawed policy,” Chen added.

The commision is responsible for issuing licenses for radio bands, while the ministry is in charge of deciding how the frequencies are used.

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