C5 block still proving popular in 4G bidding

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - Page 4

The C5 block in the 1,800MHz spectrum continued to be the favorite on the second day of bidding for 4G telecom service licenses, with tender amounts topping NT$5.48 billion (US$184 million).

The National Communications Commission’s (NCC) auction has seven bidders contesting 10 frequency blocks in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums, namely Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunication (FET), Ambit Microsystems Corp of Hon Hai Group, Asia Pacific Telecom and two management teams backed by Ting Hsin International Group and Shinkong Group.

The starting price for the C5 block, which contains 15MHz, was set at NT$3 billion, but shot up to NT$5.48 billion on the second day of the auction. It was also the only frequency block whose bidding price has gone up at each round.

The bidding price for the A4 frequency block in the 700MHz spectrum, the B3 block in 900MHz and the C1 to C4 blocks in the 1,800MHz spectrum remained unchanged

The A1, A2 and A3 blocks in the 700MHz spectrum as well as the B1 and B2 blocks in the 900MHz spectrum have yet to attract bids.

Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said the battle over the C5 block was fierce because no carrier uses it at the moment, adding that the commission would reduce the percentage of increase in the bidding price at the end of each round to ensure that bidding does not overheat.

“Because of the cap of 35MHz, we can only speculate that bidders will compete for the most desirable blocks first. Everyone seems to be focusing on frequency blocks in the 1,800MHz spectrum because there is already telecommunications equipment for 4G service,” Yu said.