The first phase of the nation’s first 5G auction ended yesterday after 27 days and 261 rounds of bidding, with the total bids topping NT$138.08 billion (US$4.61 billion), the National Communications Commission (NCC) said.
The amount, which was about 4.6 times more than the floor price, was the world’s third-highest, the commission said.
Italy raised 6.55 billion euros (US$7.31 billion) in its first 5G auction in 2018 and Germany obtained 6.5 billion euros in its auction last year, it said.
The frequency bands on auction were 1.8 gigahertz (GHz), 3.5GHz and 28GHz.
However, all of the telecoms targeted the 3.5GHz frequency band, of which a total of 270 megahertz (MHz) of bandwidth was placed on auction. The floor price for bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band was NT$24.3 billion.
Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) secured 90MHz of bandwidth in the 3.5GHz band, followed by Far EasTone Telecommunications (遠傳電信) with 80MHz. Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大), Taiwan’s second-largest telecom, only secured 60MHz of bandwidth in the band and Taiwan Star Telecom (台灣之星) obtained 40MHz.
Asia Pacific Telecom (亞太電信) yesterday withdrew its bid for bandwidth in the band.
Bids for 3.5GHz bandwidth totaled NT$136.43 billion.
There was a total of 2.5GHz of bandwidth available in the 28GHz frequency band, but carriers only bid for 1.6GHz.
Chunghwa Telecom secured 600MHz and Taiwan Mobile obtained 200MHz, while Far EasTone and Asia Pacific Telecom garnered 400MHz each. Taiwan Star did not bid for the bandwidth in this frequency band.
Bids for bandwidth in the 28GHz frequency band totaled NT$1.65 billion.
The 1.8GHz frequency band failed to attract any bids, the commission said.
All five carriers are to participate in the second phase of the auction on Feb. 21, when they would negotiate for their preferred portions of the frequency bands in the morning, it said.
Should they fail to reach an agreement, they would enter one final round of bidding in the afternoon before the auction is concluded, it added.
The bids far exceeded the projected goals set by the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan of NT$40 billion and NT$44 billion respectively, NCC Acting Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang (陳耀祥) said.
However, the government has administrative measures to ensure that consumers enjoy “high-quality and affordable” 5G services, he said.
The Cabinet would hold an interdepartmental meeting to discuss the distribution of the excess proceeds from the auction, such as upgrading telecom infrastructure and developing innovative services, he added.
Asked about Asia Pacific Telecom withdrawing its bid for 3.5GHz bandwidth, which allowed the first phase to end yesterday, Chen said that the commission respects the company’s decisions, adding that telecoms would be able to flexibly form partnerships with each other after the agency starts enforcing the Telecommunications Management Act (電信管理法) in July.
The act, which was promulgated by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in June last year, only states the principle that resources should be used efficiently and that there is fair competition in the telecom service market, NCC Department of Platforms and Businesses Director Wang De-wei (王德威) said.
Under this principle, telecoms are allowed to share their frequency spectrum or lease it from other carriers, Wang said, adding that they must first indicate such details in their business plans.
After the auction is concluded next month, telecoms that secure 5G frequency spectrum can choose to make a one-time payment for their bids or pay in installments over five years, the commission said, adding that they would be allowed to start offering 5G services only after their business plans and service networks receive its approval.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
TIMELINE QUESTIONS: Chen Shih-chung said: ‘If anyone could assure us that we could get the shots in the first quarter of next year, we could set off firecrackers’ Taiwan has secured nearly 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported five new imported infections among travelers from Indonesia and the Philippines. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that Taiwan on Monday signed a procurement contract with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer and paid a deposit to secure 10 million doses. It was the first contract finalized with a manufacturer and negotiations are under way with three other vaccine makers, Chen said. With the more than 4.6 million doses that can be obtained through the COVAX platform —