More than 180 locations nationwide would be opened for installations of base stations following the closing of the bid for the broadband spectrum designated for the fourth-generation (4G) telecommunications service last week, the National Communications Commission said yesterday.
The multiple-round auction, which lasted for more than 40 days, helped generated NT$118.65 billion (US$3.94 billion) for the treasury. The amount was more than twice the floor price that the commission set for spectrum. Six bidders, including Ambit Microsystems Corp, Asia Pacific Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone Telecommunications, Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star Cellular, had all gained spectrums, with Chunghwa Telecom emerging as the biggest winner of the auction.
Prior to the auction, Foxconn Technology Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who owns Ambit Microsystems Corp, had called for the government to help telecom carriers solve the problem of building base stations.
In response, the commission’s technologies administration department director, Chen Tzu-sheng (陳子聖), said that the telecom carriers had expressed their need to build another 864 base stations nationwide, which involves the coordination of 60 different government agencies.
“We have sent official requests to those government agencies with the hope that they can rent out their properties for the building of base stations. So far we have received positive responses from 21 of them, agreeing to offer 188 locations for such construction,” Chen said.
Chen said that these locations include the gantries installed for the freeway electronic toll collections system, as well as the lands along the freeways and those reserved for buildings.
Meanwhile, the commission also passed a motion requesting the Cabinet-level assistance to facilitate the efforts in securing the properties for base stations projects.
Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that the commission is obligated to submit the bandwidth’s floor price — NT$35.9 billion in total — to the Treasury by the end of this month. Bidders can choose to pay the rest of the amount in full or place it on installment for 10 years, he said.
“We think that they are more likely to choose the first option because the interests for the installment plan would cause them to end up paying more for the auction,” Yu said.
Yu said that the 4G service could be available to the public in the middle of next year if the service providers fulfill all the legal procedures and expedite the construction of the infrastructure.
According to Yu, the commission would still need to review the business plans proposed by the bidders, which need to be approved by the commission first, before bidders secure the permit to construct the infrastructure for 4G service network. The official licenses to use the broadband spectrum would be issued after the infrastructure is inspected and certified by the commission, he said.