Taiwanese carriers secure 5G spectrum following competitive auction

 

Taiwan’s 5G spectrum auction came to an end on January 16, after 261 rounds of bidding with total bids reaching NT$138.08 billion ($4.6 billion), according to information provided by Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC).

NCC confirmed that Taiwan’s operators Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) and Taiwan Star Telecom  had secured spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band. Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) did not win any license in that specific band.

The unit price per 10 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band reached NT$5.075 billion, making it the most expensive 5G bandwidth in the world, according to local press reports.

CHT obtained 90 megaherta of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for NT$45.675 billion and also secured 600 megahertz in the 28 GHz band for NT$618 million.

FET spent NT$40.6 billion to secure 80 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and NT$412 million for 400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band.

Taiwan Mobile got 60 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for NT$30.4 billion and also secured 200 megahertz in the 28 GHz band after paying NT$206 million.

Taiwan Star obtained 40 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band for NT$19.708 billion, and Asia Pacific Telecom secured another 40 megahertz at 28 GHz for NT$412 million.

According to Digitimes, CHT and FET, having secured 90 megahertz and 80 megahertz of bandwidths in the 3.5 GHz band respectively, are expected to compete fiercely in a number of 5G service segments, including IoT, AI and big data.

NCC had previously said that it had made available total of 2,790 megahertz of bandwidth for this spectrum auction process, including 270 megahertz from the 3.5 GHz band, 2500 megahertz from the 28 GHz band, as well as a further 20 megahertz from the 1800MHz band, which was remaining from a previous 4G auction.

The regulator said that the bandwidth in the 3.5 GHz band had been divided into bidding blocks of 10 megahertz each, whereas bidding blocks of 100 megahertz were available in the 28 GHz band, as well as the one 20 megahertz block from the 1800 MHz band.

The 5G auction was conducted through a two-stage bidding process. During the first stage, bidders determined the number of blocks they wish to obtain through a multi-round auction with quantity-based bidding. During the second stage, which was a location-based auction, they further engaged in bidding for specific assignments in accordance with the number of the blocks that they have won, enabling bidders to secure contiguous bandwidths and maximize spectrum use, NCC said.

According to the rules of the spectrum auction, each carrier could be awarded a maximum of 100 megahertz bandwidth in the 3.5 GHz band, and a maximum of 800 megahertz bandwidth in the 28 GHz band.

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