Taiwan’s mobile telecom industry will begin implementing fourth-generation wireless standards in July 2013, helping bridge the digital divide and ensuring higher broadband penetration across the island.
"The Cabinet has greenlighted our plan for implementing 4G telecom standards," National Communications Commission Minister Su Herng said March 12. "The issuing of licenses will be completed by June 2014."
"As part of this process, the NCC is consulting with the private sector and all relevant parties, as well as mapping out complementary measures addressing the needs of business and the public," Su added.
The minister made the remarks during a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and representatives from Taiwan’s major telecom companies, including Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd., Far Eastone Telecommunications Co. Ltd. and Taiwan Mobile Co. Ltd.
The round-table discussion broached a wide range of issues related to the local sector’s future development, including the release date for 4G licenses, regulatory easing on imports of mainland Chinese telecoms equipment and service rate adjustments.
While the ROC government has invested heavily in developing WiMax, a leading next-generation telecom standard, Su said the NCC remains flexible on technologies adopted by local operators in developing and delivering their services.
Responding to calls from local firms for fast-tracking review procedures of base station setups, the minister said a task force has been established to oversee the project. "Our goal is to cut the process to 90 days and assist these firms meet market demand."
The commission also urged Taiwan mobile network operators to set up text messaging systems that can send warnings to subscribers during national emergencies such as earthquakes or typhoons.
To date, Chunghwa Telecom is the only company having met the NCC request, with Taiwan’s four remaining carriers pledging to follow suit by May 2013. (JSM)