Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

No bar to 4G bidders talking

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that it would not restrict any bidder for a fourth-generation (4G) telecom license from commenting on the bidding, adding that the total bidding price was not particularly high in comparison with other countries.

The government is opening the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz frequency spectrums for 4G service. The auction, which began earlier this month, had attracted a total of NT$59.8 billion (US$1.99 billion) in bids as of yesterday. The 1,800MHz blocks have been the most popular, attracting NT$31.46 million in bids.

Ambit Microsystems Corp of Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group was of six remaining bidders. Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) told a meeting of the Cross-Strait Entrepreneurs’ Summit board on Tuesday that his group was determined to win a 4G license.

Gou said that it takes approximately NT$60 billion to NT$80 billion to build a flat-panel factory so the bidding for a 4G license was a relatively small amount in comparison. It was only natural that the bids would continue to rise, as happens in land auctions, he added.

There has been some concern that Gou’s comments would drive up the bids or interrupt the auction.

However, commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said Gou has been the only one involved in the bidding who has spoken out.

“In the past, other bidders have expressed the determination to win a bid, with some even aiming to win the maximum number of frequency blocks allowed by the commission,” Yu said. “We believe that the bidders are large corporations and have conducted extensive research ahead of time. They will not be affected by any comment they have seen in the media. After all, they have to make a decision involving several billions dollars. We do not find it necessary to give him warning because of what he said.”

Yu also said that the commission’s analysis showed that the bidding price for 4G licenses was not particularly high compared with other countries. The bids for the frequency blocks in 1,800MHz may be a bit high, but are still lower than those made in South Korea and Singapore, he said.

The commission will release its analysis next week, he said.

The commission is also seeking public opinion about its proposed digital convergence act (數位匯流法).

It has already laid out several topics for discussion, including requiring telecoms to have a functional operation, opening up the “Last Mile” to all telecom carriers, making media anti-monopolization part of the new law and regulation of inappropriate online content.

Chi Hsiao-cheng (紀效正), a specialist with the commission’s department of planning, said that the commission wants to know if the public wants a law that merges all the media or telecommunication acts under its jurisdiction into one law or if they prefer different laws to cover different media outlets.

Yu said that it is unlikely that the proposed law would be used to regulate the print media.

In related news, the commission yesterday fined China Television NT$600,000 after Show King (萬秀豬王) carried content containing sexual connotations that was inappropriate for children to watch.

CTiTV news was fined NT$400,000 for repeatedly broadcasting a video showing a father in China angrily dropping a baby on the ground. The image was not pixelated and involved violence, bloodshed and terror, which should not appear in a general rating program, the commission said.

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