Chunghwa Telecom receives first 5G license in Taiwan

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — Chunghwa Telecom Co., one of five telecom operators that spent a total of roughly NT$138 billion (US$4.6 billion) in an auction that ended in mid-January to secure 5G spectrum, received the first 5G license in the country Wednesday, according to the National Communications Commission (NCC).

The NCC, which regulates telecommunications and broadcasting services in Taiwan, said that a meeting held by its commissioners Wednesday agreed to award a license to Chunghwa Telecom to launch 5G services after reviewing the telecom operator’s progress in building a 5G network.

The NCC said that Chunghwa Telecom, which spent NT$45.7 million for 90MHz in the 3.5GHz band and NT$618 million for 600MHz in the 28GHz band, is expected to start its 5G services in July at the earliest, vaulting Taiwan into the 5G era.

In response, Chunghwa Telecom said it will try to launch 5G services on July 1. It added that the fees for the new services are still being studied.

Even though the company has been granted a 5G license, the NCC said the commission will continue to supervise its efforts in setting up base stations to build a 5G network to ensure that the company will provide good services to consumers in the near future.

NCC Chief Secretary Hsiao Chi-hong (蕭祈宏) said that to his knowledge, Chunghwa Telecom’s base stations are largely scattered throughout the six special municipalities in Taiwan: Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.

Hsiao said it is not necessary for Chunghwa Telecom to obtain permission from the NCC for the fees it will ask for 5G services.

The other four telecom operators that also secured the 5G spectrum in the auction are Taiwan Mobile Co., Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Taiwan Star Telecom Corp. and Asia Pacific Telecom Co.

Hsiao said Far EasTone has submitted a document for the progress of its 5G network development to the NCC for review and that a meeting could be held by NCC commissioners next week at the earliest to review its efforts.

Far EasTone, which secured 80MHz of the 3.5GHz band for NT$40.6 billion and 400MHz in the 28GHz band for NT$412 million in the auction, said it aims to launch its 5G services in the upcoming summer vacation.