Wed, Mar 14, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Licenses for LTE might be issued by 2014: NCC

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

National Communications Commission (NCC) could issue three licenses for long-term evolution (LTE) technology by 2014, National Communications Commission chairperson Su Herng (蘇蘅) said yesterday.

“The Ministry of National Defense has promised to cede the 700 megahertz [MHz] band by the end of this year,” Su said. “We are now planning to reserve the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz bands for the development of a 4G network.”

Su made the comments following a meeting with the nation’s telecoms carriers on Monday.

Last year, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the commission agreed that the nation would issue only technology-neutral licenses in future, which would allow carriers to quickly adapt to rapid changes in technology.

The UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized LTE and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access as two technologies that could potentially lead to the development of 4G networks.

A network must fulfill the data transmission speed requirement of 100 megabits per second for high-mobility communications and 1 gigabit per second for low-mobility communications to be considered by the ITU to be a “4G” network.

LTE technology appears to have gained the upper hand since it has been adopted by more countries. However, no LTE service provider in the world fulfills the requirements set by the ITU.

Legislators have panned the commission for falling behind Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, which all provide LTE.

The nation has six WiMAX service operators, and four of them have discussed the possibility of a merger.

Asked if the commission would allow WiMAX operators to automatically switch to LTE technology, Su said the commission did not consider this an option.

“We want the interested operators to bid for the [LTE] licenses. The frequency they use should be treated like a piece of prime real estate that becomes available following a zoning change,” Su said.

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