Auction for 5G to be held earlier than planned, NCC says

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jun 20, 2019 - Page 2

The government is to hold the 5G spectrum auction slightly earlier than scheduled, as several other countries have either released 5G licenses or held spectrum auctions already, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

The commission said that it passed an amendment to the Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses (行動寬頻業務管理規則) at its weekly meeting yesterday, adding that the regulations would soon be made public along with the Executive Yuan’s new list of telecom services permitted by the government.

The public consultation period for the amendment would be shortened from two months to 45 days, the commission said.

It would begin accepting applications to participate in the auction in September, and the period during which the applications would be accepted would be reduced from 45 days to one month, so that it could proceed with the auction in December, it said.

The government has decided to shorten the preparatory period for the auction, as many countries have either finished releasing the licenses or are getting ready to roll out 5G networks, Planning Department Deputy Director Chi Hsiao-cheng (紀效正) said.

Germany completed its 5G auction last week, Japan plans to have 5G applications available for use next year and China is soon to release 5G licenses to designated telecoms, Chi said.

The government plans to release 2,790 megahertz (MHz) in bandwidth for 5G services, including 270MHz in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) frequency band, 2,500MHz in the 28GHz frequency band and 20MHz in the 1,800MHz frequency band, the commission said.

The 20MHz in the 1,800MHz frequency band were not sold during the 4G auction, it added.

Most of the countries around the world have chosen to roll out 5G services using the 3.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands, the commission said

The 5G auction would be conducted in two phases.

The first would be a multiple-round auction to determine the amount of bandwidth each bidder can receive, while the second would be an auction to determine each bidder’s location on the spectrum, the commission said.

To ensure that the whole spectrum is used, the commission has allowed for additional rounds for the auction.

It has also capped the bandwidth that each bidder can obtain to 100MHz in the 3.5GHz frequency band and to 800MHz in the 28GHz frequency band.

Successful bidders would be obligated to build or upgrade a certain number of base stations.

As telecoms are expected to spend more on developing 5G than they did with 4G, the licenses to use the 3.5GHz and 28GHz frequency bands would be valid until 2040, the commission said.

Licenses to use 20MHz in the 1,800MHz frequency band would still be valid until 2030, as was the agreement for 4G service suppliers, it said.