GSMA tells Taiwan to lose WiMAX and focus on LTE

12 July 2011 |


The GSM Association (GSMA) has told the Taiwanese authorities to focus on developing LTE rather than the country’s preferred method of WiMAX.

At the 4G International Forum in Taipei, it was reported that the GSMA director of spectrum policy and regulatory affairs for the Asia-Pacific region, Chris Perera, was encouraging the Taiwanese government to invest in LTE. Perera suggested that the country could benefit from greater economies of scale by transferring to the increasingly favoured technology.

Over the past few years, Taiwan has focussed a lot of energy on developing and deploying WiMAX with six operators in the country offering the service. One of the main reasons for this commitment to WiMAX was because of the backing by vendor Intel, but its Taiwanese operation closed last year leaving a gap in the market.

The GSMA’s active encouragement of the Taiwanese market suggests that it thinks LTE could really boost the country’s market and prevent it from being left behind in terms of technology; according to a report commissioned by the GSMA to Analysys Mason, the regulatory body is championing LTE due to its high global demand compared to WiMAX and the expected growth of 3G devices using LTE.

In the report the GSMA suggests that Taiwan’s telecoms regulator, the National Communications Commission (NCC), should help the transference between technologies by using specific spectrums to change licence conditions. At present, operators need to cover 70% of its licence region in order to then be allowed to switch to LTE.

Several operators are attempting to get the licence to operate LTE but even so, the NCC previously said that it doesn’t expect 4G LTE technology to be prevalent in the country until 2017.