Telecoms today are to bid in the second phase of the nation’s 5G spectrum auction to secure bandwidth on coveted frequency bands.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) said that the auction is to begin at 9:30am, when carriers would indicate by letter their preferred locations on the frequency bands.
Should two or more carriers ask for the same location, the commission would hold another auction at 2:30pm to determine the winner, the commission said.
NCC commissioners are to hold a meeting to confirm the results as soon as the auction ends, it said, adding that the result would be announced on the same day.
The first phase of the 5G spectrum auctions ended on Jan.16, with total bids of NT$138.08 billion (US$4.56 billion).
Although the commission released spectrum at the 1.8 gigahertz (GHz), 3.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands, all five carriers focused on acquiring spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, as manufacturers have already produced terminal and network equipment for that particular band.
During the first auction, Chunghwa Telecom secured 90 megahertz (MHz) in the 3.5GHz band, while Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET), Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star Telecom obtained 80MHz, 60MHz and 40MHz respectively. Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) withdrew from the bidding, which also helped end the first phase that lasted 27 days.
In the 28GHz frequency band, Chunghwa secured 600MHz, while Taiwan Mobile, APT and FET obtained 200MHz, 400MHz and 400MHz respectively. Taiwan Star did not win any bandwidth in this band.
Carriers spent NT$136.43 billion to secure bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band, the NCC said, while the rest of the bids were spent on bandwidth in the 28GHz band. No bids were made for the 1.8GHz band.
Chunghwa was the top bidder in the first auction, spending NT$46.29 billion. FET and Taiwan Mobile paid NT$41.01 billion and NT$30.65 billion respectively, while Taiwan Star spent NT$19.7 billion and APT spent NT$412 million.
After the first phase concluded last month, the NCC gave carriers a little more than a month to negotiate their preferred locations, particularly those on the 3.5GHz band.
As of yesterday, they had not yet reached a deal, the commission said.
People familiar with the matter said that more than one carrier was eyeing the middle section of the frequency band, as it has less interference compared with the front and rear ends of the band.
The second phase of the auction is expected to further push up bids, industry observers said, adding that the nation’s 5G service could potentially be the most expensive in the world due to the high costs.
Italy and Germany generated about NT$150 billion and NT$140 billion respectively through 5G auctions, making them the most expensive 5G markets so far.
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