Tue, Feb 17, 2015 - Page 4 News List

NCC fines Taiwan Mobile, Asia Pacific over alliance

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Asia Pacific Telecom (亞太電信) and Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大) were each fined NT$300,000 (US$9,494) for failing to report their 4G telecom service roaming alliance to the National Communications Commission (NCC) as required by administrative policy.

However, NCC spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said further punishments were likely, as the commission plans to address other telecommunication regulation violations committed by Asia Pacific.

The violations include the failure to build as many base stations as promised in its business plan and the unilateral decision to change the technology it would use for 4G service.

According to the NCC, the two telecoms signed an agreement on a roaming partnership on Sept. 25 last year. However, the agreement did not indicate the cost of such a partnership. The two later signed a supplementary agreement on Dec. 12 after agreeing on the cost of the partnership. Asia Pacific then submitted the details of the agreement to the commission on Dec. 17.

Yu said that Asia Pacific should have reported the deal to the commission within a month after the agreement was signed on Sept. 25, but the carrier argued it had fulfilled its legal requirement, as complete agreement was not reached until Dec. 12.

“It is customary in the industry for two telecoms to forge a roaming partnership without settling on an exact cost first,” Yu said. “It was decided that such agreement should be reported within one month after it is first signed; on Sept. 25 in this case. Each carrier was fined NT$300,000 for violating the Regulations Governing Mobile Telecommunications Businesses (行動寬頻業務管理規則).”

Yu said that Asia Pacific was supposed to build 2,000 base stations nationwide to offer 4G service; a promise listed in its business plan.

Furthermore, while Asia Pacific stated in its business plan that it would use the voice-over-LTE approach to offer voice service, it actually uses circuit-switched fallback.

Failure to fulfill the commitments stated in the telecom carrier’s business plan would cause it to be fined between NT$300,000 to NT$3 million, the NCC said.

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