Taiwan awards 4G licences

30 October 2013 |

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) said today that six companies are set to pay more than triple the original offer price for 12 4G mobile spectrum licences in the country.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, one of the world’s largest electronics assemblers, was awarded two of the 12 licences and the remaining 10 licences were split between five other parties: Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications, Asia Pacific Telecom and a party backed by Ting Hsin International Group.

In total, the spectrum auction generated $4.03 billion – 231% higher than the original offer price – for spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands.

According to Reuters, companies in Asia are looking towards investment in Taiwanese 4G, as it holds high-margin business potential. Howard Shyr, chairman at NCC, said in a press conference that bids from non-operators helped to increase the revenue.

Despite this enormous revenue, Taiwan falls behind other countries in the region – such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines – that already offer 4G services.

Aaron Chen, a fund manager at Capital Securities Investment Trust in Taipei, Taiwan, said that for Hon Hai, winning the 4G licences will allow the company to diversify its business, as the profit margin is so much better than in its existing operations.

“Ultimately, whether or not it will succeed depends on if it can expand into the Chinese market and other overseas markets,” Chen added.

Bidding for the licences began in July this year, and later in August, Taiwan was urged by internal operators to work more closely with China for its 4G deployment.