Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Chunghwa wins lion’s share of 4G bandwidth auction

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Chunghwa Telecom has emerged as the biggest winner in the auction for fourth-generation (4G) telecommunication service licenses after bidding concluded yesterday.

Chunghwa Telecom picked up 35 megahertz (MHz) of bandwith, more than any of the other five participants, by winning three blocks of frequency in two spectrums with bids totaling NT$39.08 billion (US$1.33 billion).

The company won the B2 block in the 900MHz frequency band and the C2 and C5 blocks in the 1,800MHz frequency band, which was clearly the most desirable frequency in the auction.

The auction for the 4G spectrum blocks began on Sept. 3 and came to an end yesterday after 392 bidding rounds, with the bids made by the six companies vying for licenses totaling NT$118.65 billion, 3.3 times the floor price set by the government, according to the National Communications Commission.

A total of 270MHz of radio frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums for 4G services were up for auction.

Chunghwa Telecom Co, Taiwan Mobile Co, Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET), Asia Pacific Telecom Co, Ambit Microsystems Corp (a unit of Hon Hai Group) and companies backed by Ting Hsin International Group all won bids in the auction, the NCC said.

In response to concerns about skyrocketing bid prices that may lead to telecoms needing more time to make profit from selling 4G services and therefore providing a poor service or increasing charges on users, NCC Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) said: “The companies will not use high prices and drive away customers.”

He said the companies will have to come up with reasonable service plans for consumers because they are in the competition under the market mechanism and the commission will only fulfil its duty to improve the basic infrastructure and examine the telecom service quality, service conditions and consumption disputes.

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