Some fourth-generation (4G) telecom operators yesterday told an administrative hearing in Taipei that the government should not allow telecom carriers to merge operations without first fulfilling the commitments made in their business plans, adding that operators would be violating regulations if they change their core systems without informing the National Communications Commission (NCC).
The commission held the hearing amid controversy over the merger of Asia-Pacific Telecom (APT) and Ambit Microsystems Corp. An investigation by the commission found that although APT had said in its business plan that it was obligated to build a core network, it had been using the network built by Ambit. Their merger has yet to be approved by the commission.
APT was also supposed to use voice over long-term evolution (VOLTE) technology, but it was using circuit-switch fallback technology without first informing the commission.
Taiwan Star law affairs department vice president Leo Fang (方修忠) said that carriers involved in a merger must each fulfill their service commitments listed in their business plans before they file their applications.
If the NCC denied the renewal of WiMAX service provider Tatung Infocomm’s license for failing to deliver what it had promised in its business plan, the same rule should apply to 4G carriers, he said.
Fang said the company had promised to use VOLTE technology, which is a more advanced than the circuit-switch fallback system.
He said the commission would allow APT to offer service using a low-level technology if it allows the company to switch technologies, not to mention an obvious deviation from its business plan.
“The commission needs to fine the carrier and order it to address the situation within a designated period of time, or it should be stopped from continuing the illegal business,” he said.
Chung Kuo-chiang (鍾國強), senior director of Chunghwa Telecom’s legal affairs department, said that if a carrier makes the change without first reporting it to the NCC, the commission must quickly address the violation; it cannot allow the illegality to continue.
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