Fri, Dec 27, 2019 - Page 2 News List

NCC urges restraint after 5G auction exceeds NT$70bn

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday urged the nation’s five telecoms to “remain calm and rational” after overall bids in the first 5G spectrum auction exceeded NT$70.3 billion (US$2.33 billion).

“What telecoms spend bidding for 5G spectrum and building 5G networks would all be part of their operating costs. We will pay attention to the fees they set once 5G services become available to consumers,” the commission said.

The results of the 13th day of the auction far exceeded the commission’s expectations.

Before the auction began on Dec. 10, the commission had estimated that it would end within one to two weeks, with total bids of no more than NT$60 billion.

Prior to the auction, telecoms had also been vocal about limiting their bids, as they have yet to recover a total of NT$174.84 billion they have spent in the three 4G auctions since 2013.

Bandwidth in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) frequency band — 270 megahertz (MHz) in total — remains highest in demand, with bids surging to NT$68.9 billion yesterday, commission data showed.

The 28GHz frequency band has only garnered bids of NT$1.44 billion for 140MHz of the 250Mhz being auctioned, while bandwidth in the 1.8GHz band has yet to attract any bids, the data showed.

The commission has implemented a mechanism to expedite the auction, in which the 51st and 101st bids are not allowed to request more bandwidth than the 50th and 100th bids respectively.

Although the mechanism was designed to motivate telecoms to focus on the spectrum and bandwidth they need and to bid quickly, the commission said that it did not seem to encourage them to bid faster.

The auction is today to enter its 14th day.

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