NCC urges 2G users to switch before June 30 deadline

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jan 03, 2017 - Page 3

The National Communications Commission (NCC) is urging subscribers of second-generation (2G) telecom services to quickly migrate to 3G or 4G as 2G licenses are set to expire on June 30.

The commission has produced two commercials to promote the service change. One shows how 4G subscribers are able to conduct a video call with family members while on a visit to a local temple.

The other one features a rap song telling people how 4G allows subscribers to access the Internet everywhere they go.

The Rules Governing the Second-Generation Mobile Telecommunications Businesses state that all 2G licenses are to remain valid until June 30. To ease the impact on 2G subscribers, the commission said in September last year that 2G users will have a six-month grace period after June 30 to migrate to more advanced services.

As of the end of November last year, NCC statistics showed that the nation still had about 430,000 2G subscribers, with approximately 290,000 being Chunghwa Telecom users. The rest are customers of either Taiwan Mobile or Far EasTone Telecommunications.

Highlighting the drawbacks of 2G services, the commission said that 2G subscribers cannot go online with the phones they are using, nor can they receive disaster-prevention messages from the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction.

Meanwhile, 4G users have better reception because more 4G base stations are being installed nationwide, the commission added.

According to the NCC, Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone are offering low monthly subscription services to encourage 2G users to switch to 3G or 4G.

For instance, Chunghwa Telecom offers a low monthly subscription fee of NT$88 for 2G users switching to 4G.

Apart from a low monthly fee, the company offers 1.5 gigabytes of data service per month for free, as well as 30 minutes of free intranet phone calls and five minutes of extranet calls, the commission said.

The monthly fee can be used to partially offset phone call charges, it added.

Asia-Pacific Telecom is also building base stations for 900MHz, which can accommodate 2G, 3G and 4G services, the commission said.

The company aims to have 4,000 base stations installed by the middle of this month, which 2G service subscribers can use to continue accessing voice services using the firm’s network during the six-month transitional period.