Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 4 News List

NCC to alter telecom research rules

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Research institutions or telecom carriers seeking to test whether a newly built network has commercial value would be able to apply for proof of business once regulatory changes are approved, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said on Wednesday.

The proposed amendments are to be made public for two months, NCC spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said, adding that the commission would review comments from the public and make revisions before the new rules would be promulgated.

Current regulations only allow experiments on new technical concepts, such as fifth-generation (5G) telecom service networks.

Some entities have said that they develop a business model after building a network and want to test whether the model would generate revenue, Wong said.

The commission proposed that research institutions be allowed to test the commercial value of new telecom networks after obtaining a proof of business, he said.

This is different from telecom licenses in that it allows experimentation for no more than one year, Wong said.

However, like telecom companies, applicants must have their business plan approved by the commission, he said.

The commission said that it would review plans based on several factors, including whether the new telecom networks would interfere with existing infrastructure, whether proposed business models would disrupt the telecoms service market, or whether business models would impede fair competition.

Impediments to experiments would be removed as much as possible to support the development of information and communications technology, it said.

The commission also proposed a relaxation of other regulations to facilitate research and development on new telecom networks, such as eliminating a limit on the number of people who can participate in experiments.

So far, the commission has approved five applicants, with researchers testing technical concepts involved in the development of 5G technology.

“The rapid development of 5G and Internet of Things [IoT] technologies is expected to generate a wider variety of applications. It would also create challenges for administrative authorities, such as how to regulate the emerging micro-operators of telecom services,” the commission said. “The proposed amendments would provide a platform for trials of potential business models for new telecom networks, which would greatly enhance the value of the experimental networks and spur development to meet demand.”

The increase of experimental networks would also allow the government to observe services and applications that arise with the development of 5G and IoT, it said, adding that developers could be allowed to participate in auctions for frequency spectrums.

The government is to conduct a comprehensive review of the use of frequency spectrums and develop flexible and diverse ways to release licenses, the commission said.

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