Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - Page 4 News List

4G license auction to be held on Sept. 3: NCC

BIDDING BATTLE:To ensure the process is fair, the NCC has established strict bidding rules and secure rooms where it can monitor the bidders’ moves with cameras

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The bidding for 4G mobile communication service licenses is to begin on Sept. 3, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

The government decided last year that it would release a total of 270MHz of radio frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums for 4G services.

Earlier this month, the commission confirmed it had received applications from seven bidders interested in acquiring 4G licenses. The bidders are: Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET), Asia Pacific Telecom, Ambit Microsystems Corp and two other companies backed by Ting Hsin International Group and Shinkong Group.

Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile and FET are the three dominant firms in the telecom service market.

Ambit is a member of the Hon Hai Group, also known as Foxconn Technology.

Ting Hsin is China’s largest instant noodle maker and the largest private shareholder in Taipei Financial Center Corp, which owns Taipei 101.

Shinkong Group has dabbled in the banking, retail and manufacturing sectors.

To ensure that the 4G bidding process is executed in a fair and just manner, the commission allowed the media to inspect the bidding rooms assigned to each bidder yesterday.

Each room is equipped with three computers to enter bids. Representatives of the companies are not allowed to bring their mobile phones into the rooms and can only use three landlines installed in the room to communicate with their firms or to contact commission staff if they experience any technical issues.

To prevent bidders from striking under-the-table deals during the auction, the rooms are arranged so that the representatives cannot see what the others are doing.

The commission will provide meals, water and stationery supplies to the bidding personnel. It has also established a surveillance system to monitor and record the situations in the rooms.

Tsai Kuo-tung (蔡國棟), a specialist with the commission’s competitive policy division, said 10 auction rounds would be held each day.

If there is no winning bid by the end of the day, the auction would continue the next day, he said.

According to Tsai, the bidding for 3G licenses lasted for 19 days.

Tsai also said that a bid would be considered invalid if it exceeds the cap for radio frequencies that each bidder is allowed or falls below the minimum bidding price. Those who place invalid bids would lose their right to bid, he said.

A bidder would also waive that right by skipping a round without permission or by withdrawing altogether, and will be disqualified if they waive the right to bid four times, Tsai added.

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