The National Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday reiterated the possibility that the freeway eTag system could interfere with the operation of the fourth-generation (4G) telecom service, adding that 4G has priority in the radio spectrum.
The commission gave conditional approval to the National Freeway Bureau last year to use the 922.75MHz to 924.25MHz frequencies for its eTag system, used for toll payment collection.
However, prior to the approval, the commission had been reluctant to approve the bureau’s application because the commission had reserved the 930MHz bandwidth for the soon-to-be-developed 4G network. The commission feared that the 4G network and the eTag system could interfere with one another due to the lack of an adequate buffer between frequencies.
The commission yesterday heard an analysis from its staff on whether the interference would remain an issue. The analysis showed that the eTag system would not interfere with the second-generation (2G) service network, which uses the 900MHz spectrum, commission spokesman Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said.
Because 4G has yet to become operational, Yu said that there is no way to test whether the eTag system would actually interfere with the 4G network. However, he said that there remains a 0.5 percent to 1 percent chance that the interference could occur, which could be overcome using a technological arrangement.
“If the interference happens, we will ask the bureau to lower the frequencies of its transmission. We can also ask the telecom service operators to increase the installation of base stations. Meanwhile, we could ask the bureau to relocate the gantries, which the eTag system needs to calculate the driver’s travel distance,” he said. “The conditions we set said clearly 4G has absolute priority.”