The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday interviewed the seven candidates bidding for fourth-generation (4G) licenses, saying that the results would be reviewed today.
The commission confirmed it received applications from seven bidders: Chunghwa Telecom; Taiwan Mobilel; Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET); Asia Pacific Telecom; Ambit Microsystems Corp, a unit of Hon Hai Group and companies backed by Ting Hsin International Group and Shinkong Group.
The license review committee was seeking a better understanding of the general plan each candidate has to operate a 4G service, with questions ranging from raising capital, content, infrastructure, service rates and communication content.
After the interviews, most of the candidates preferred not to disclose much about their presentations to the committee members.
The most vocal was Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who said that his group was determined to obtain a 4G license.
“As newcomers, we face difficulties [in operating the service]. It is like asking a newborn baby to run a 100m race with a teenager,” Gou said. “Our confidence, however, is built on our ability. We hope that 30 percent of our service’s equipment would be made in Taiwan. We also hope to develop the 4G industry in Taiwan, which would be our testing ground for 4G services.”
“If the commission wants to bring innovation and change to the telecom service market, they need to give a newcomer a chance. Otherwise, the three players that dominate the telecom market now would be enough,” Gou said, adding that the government should ensure that telecom resources are accessible by all telecom carriers.
Asked whether the firm would consider acquiring current 3G service carriers, he said that it would use the most advanced technology to provide a 4G service.
Gou also said that the group is eyeing a much bigger market.
“The market in Taiwan would be too small for us. The world is our stage. Taiwan is our testing ground for 4G services. If we can make it at home, our business partners would help. Our goal is the international market, not just Taiwan,” he said.
FET chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said that the NCC had asked some difficult questions, but his company was well-prepared and had performed satisfactorily.
Taiwan Mobile chairman Richard Tsai (蔡明興) said the competition was fierce, but the company was confident it did well.
Asked if it was intimidated by new players like Hon Hai, Tsai said that the electronics firm was a “respectable colleague” in the industry.
Chunghwa Telecom chairman Lee Yen-sung (李炎松) said his company was thoroughly prepared for the interview and was determined to get a 4G license.
Asia-Pacific Telecom (亞太電信) chairperson Sophia Chiu (邱純枝) said the firm was confident of winning the frequency designated for 4G services, while the team, led by Ting Hsin International Group chairman Wei Ying-chiao (魏應交) had no comment.
The team backed by Shinkong Group said it would work with First International Telecom to provide 4G service.