The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that Aerkomm Inc needs to register as a telecom service provider if it wants to provide a low-Earth-orbit satellite service in Taiwan, as well as comply with national laws on applying for a frequency spectrum and managing foreign investors.
The Nevada-based company, which recently announced that it had chosen Taiwan as a research and development and service base in the Asia-Pacific region, filed an application to offer a low-Earth-orbit satellite service in Taiwan — which some call a “6G service.”
The service would transmit data faster than 5G service and greatly facilitate communication for residents of remote areas and frequent air travelers, the company said, adding that the travelers would not need international roaming services when overseas.
While confirming that the commission had received Aerkomm’s application, NCC Vice Chairman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that the firm should first register as a telecom service provider, as required by the Telecommunication Management Act (電信管理法), which took effect on July 1.
“So far, its business plan is vague, and we are not sure if it needs to secure a landing right for its service here. But if it does, we need to review several factors, including the percentage of its shares owned by foreign investors and whether the frequency spectrum that the company intends to use to build its service network is being used by others or might cause interference on surrounding networks,” Wong said.
The company would have to build satellite ground stations so that the commission could ensure that network operations were not exploited by criminals, and apply to use a frequency spectrum and explain how they would use it to construct their satellite service network,” he said.
A more detailed business plan should be presented to the commissioners, Wong said, adding that the NCC would consider how the service is used in other countries.
“Satellite communications is more common in countries with large territories, where there remain many remote townships not covered by telecom service networks, but in Taiwan, the 4G service coverage rate has reached 95 percent,” he said, adding that the company’s initial plan is to facilitate communication for fisheries.
Wong reiterated that the company needs to comply with national laws regarding securing a frequency spectrum and the management of foreign investors.
The commission would consider whether the company’s use of the frequency spectrum concurs with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ spectrum distribution plan, Wong said.
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