Shay & Partners
Taiwan has one of the most developed telecommunications sectors in Asia, with specializations in cable television, broadband technology, and the online gaming industry, all attracting foreign attention. These are resources that European companies are yet to exploit, with the US still making the lion’s share of investment into the country.Show more
Further to the Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovation Experimentation Act, which entered into force on 1 June 2019, a new regulation for drone use under the latest amendment to the Civil Aviation Act will take effect on 31 March 2020. Among other requirements, under the new act, drone operators in Taiwan will need to register with and pass an exam conducted by the Civil Aeronautics Administration to obtain an operator licence.
Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
The new Telecoms Act came into effect on 1 July 2020. The licences of incumbent telecoms operators will expire on 30 June 2023 if not earlier on their registration with the National Communications Commission (NCC). While the Taiwan telecoms regulatory regime is switching from heavy-handed regulation to light-touch administration as the NCC claims, the NCC has published a guideline on the registration of telecoms service providers and responses to FAQs on its official website.
Subsequent to the requisition of selected airtime from 213 TV channels and 161 radio stations nationwide since 22 January 2020, the National Communications Commission recently announced its subsidy policy for compensating the direct cost of labour incurred by the operators involved (ie, each TV channel operator will be paid NT$24,000 (approximately $842) per month between 22 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 and each radio station operator will be paid NT$3,000 (approximately $105)).
The National Communications Commission recently announced that the government will allocate NT$26.65 billion from 2021 to 2025 to subsidise the 5G network deployment of five telecoms operators under the premium bid prize collected from the 5G spectrum auction in January 2020. The government intends to reach a penetration rate of 50%, 60% and 70% of the 5G population in non-remote areas by 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively.
All five Taiwanese 5G operators were recently listed as 'clean' 5G networks by the United States. The National Communications Commission has welcomed this international collaboration and commented that similar programmes previously applied to Taiwan 4G networks and kept Chinese hardware companies such as Huawei and ZTE out of Taiwan's 4G infrastructure.
The Taiwanese government recently accelerated its ban on Chinese over-the-top (OTT) TV services in Taiwan. As of 3 September 2020, no entities, legal persons or individuals in Taiwan may act as business agents, carry out resales or provide intermediary services for Chinese OTT TV services. Non-compliance with the ban could result in an administrative fine of NT$50,000 to NT$5 million per case and to a cease and desist order from the National Communications Commission.
A new bill to establish the Ministry of Digital Development is being prepared by Cabinet and will be proposed to the Legislative Yuan in September 2020 for review. According to President Tsai Ing-wen's recent inauguration address, the Ministry of Digital Development will be an industry-oriented government agency for business development in the IT, cybersecurity, telecoms, internet and media sectors.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently reviewed and updated its checklist for radio frequency equipment. The NCC nevertheless underlined that deregulated equipment will remain subject to compliance with the technical specifications of low-power radio frequency equipment, which were previously amended on 23 August 2016.
The National Communications Commission recently issued a notice of alert to all licence holders (including terrestrial TV channels, radio stations, satellite TV channels, cable TV channels and telecoms operators) which demands that they stop carrying ads, promotions or sponsorship for Chinese over-the-top (OTT) TV services, specifically We TV and Iqiyi, and requires compliance with bans on Chinese OTT TV services under the governing law administered by the Mainland Affairs Council.
The new Telecommunications Act will take effect and apply to all telecoms service providers from July 2020. The new act has adopted a light-handed approach to the regulation of telecoms services provided in Taiwan with the exception of identified significant market powers in telecoms. The new act defines 'significant market powers in telecoms' and authorises the National Communications Commission to take anti-monopoly measures when necessary.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently published a new compliance approval regulation for telecoms devices. The regulation clarified that the NCC may void approval issued to handsets supplied by Chinese telecoms manufacturers for changing the built-in region caller ID setting from 'Taiwan' to 'Taiwan, China' if this issue is not fixed promptly.
The National Communications Commission recently reached an agreement with the Ministry of Education that due to possible school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Channel 3 of Public Television Services will be assigned to provide support for distance learning to meet the needs of junior and high schools nationwide.
Taiwan has swiftly adopted the 'digital fence' system, whereby the location of anyone required to undergo home quarantine due to COVID-19 is monitored via their phone's cellular signal. This approach seems less intrusive than other options and has been an efficient tool for containing the virus. However, deploying these technologies on such a large scale without undertaking testing has incited criticism that law enforcement departments are bypassing the Communication Security and Surveillance Act.
The National Communications Commission has requisitioned selected airtime from 213 TV channels and 161 radio stations nationwide. Each of the selected TV channels must allocate 24 minutes each weekday and 10 minutes each weekend day to broadcast a one-minute short film with open captions every hour offering health-related information and updates from the Taiwan Centre for Disease Control in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan's 5G spectrum auction came to an end on 21 February 2020. The five incumbents secured the 5G spectrum following a competitive auction with total bids reaching NT$142.191 billion (approximately $4.7 billion) which will be paid within 30 days following the National Communications Commission's notice. The regulation governing mobile broadband services requires operators to file for an amendment to their deployment plan and information security plan subsequent to the bid price being paid.
In September 2019 a landmark appeal court decision found an online information service provider liable for consequential damages of data theft. Before this decision, most data theft cases in civil actions were resolved by a summary judgment under the Personal Data Protection Act, which offers claimants statutory compensation for non-pecuniary damages of between NT$500 and NT$20,000 per incident.
The new Telecommunications Act, which enters into force in June 2022, will replace the conventional Type I and II telecom licence categories (ie, facility-based and service-based operators, respectively) which were adopted in 1996 with a more liberal approach and give the National Communications Commission more scope with regard to spectrum management and licensing.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently published the final draft of its 5G spectrum auction rules. As part of the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, the NCC aims to publish an amendment to the existing Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses by the end of August 2019 and accept bids in September 2019. The auction for mobile broadband business licences operating in the 3.5GHz, 28GHz and 1,800MHz bands will commence in December 2019.
US President Donald Trump's recent executive order which blacklists Huawei has generated a significant response from Huawei smartphone users, mobile operators and distributors in Taiwan which are handling returned purchases. One of the principal complaints from consumers is that once a Huawei smartphone is deprived of its Android operating system and Google services, it is no longer as 'smart' as it should be.
Despite the fact that Taiwan's broadband market is flooded with over-the-top (OTT) media services, the National Communications Commission has yet to regulate OTT service providers. However, the government recently issued a presidential order to amend the Copyright Act and outlaw malicious online infringement. Since the order's enactment, local cable and satellite channel operators (among others) have identified at least 42 OTT boxes and apps which may be considered illegal under the revised act.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently authorised Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecoms operator in Taiwan, to use aggregate channels for its media-on-demand service. Unsurprisingly, local cable TV operators have protested the NCC's one-sided decision and demanded the same liberalised regulations. While the future of cable TV in Taiwan remains uncertain, over-the-top media services such as Netflix may be the only way to resurrect pay TV businesses.
Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei is under additional scrutiny following concerns that its close ties with the Chinese government present national security threats to Taiwan, the United States, Europe and allied countries. Further to the ban on Huawei's investment in Taiwan and the procurement of Huawei products for use in telecoms infrastructure, the Taiwan government is considering similar restrictions on 5G.
By the end of December 2018, the National Communications Commission (NCC) will expand the 5G regulatory sandbox in order to inspire experimental 5G applications and prepare Taiwan for the upcoming release of 5G spectrum for commercial use in 2020. The NCC confirmed that the 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz and 28GHz bands are available for release via spectrum auctions, while further public comments are required regarding the 1,700MHz to 1,900MHz, 2,010MHz to 2,025MHz and 2,355MHz to 2,390MHz bands.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently responded to comments from mobile network operators and equipment suppliers in a public consultation on 5G spectrum planning and auction preparation. The NCC confirmed that, in addition to the 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz bands, the 28GHz, 1,700MHz to 1,900MHz and 700MHz to 800MHz bands are expected to be released for 5G use and will likely be made available through spectrum auctions.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has initiated a public consultation on 5G spectrum planning and auction preparation. Industry stakeholders and interested parties are invited to give comments in written form by 29 June 2018. NCC Chair Nicole Chan stated that the commission will be submitting its final analysis of the public consultation to the Executive Yuan in July 2018. The premier will then issue a further decision on 5G spectrum.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) released its 2017 Taiwan Communications Market Report in April 2018. The report disclosed the progress being made in preparation for the 5G spectrum auction, during which the NCC will identify that the 28 gigahertz (GHz) band, as well as the 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz bands, should be available for auction in 2020, aiming for large-scale 5G application.
Chunghwa Telecom recently announced that it will make a 5G pre-commercial system available in Taipei in 2020. The National Communications Commission has welcomed the move. It has also stated that its legislative proposal on the Telecommunications Act will take a proactive approach in responding to the significant need for flexible frequency sharing and network use.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently issued a warning regarding the key reinstallation attack and urged network operators and equipment providers to fix this unprecedented flaw in WiFi protection that has left almost all home routers at risk of being hacked. The NCC advised subscribers to avoid sending confidential or sensitive personal data via WiFi connections and to use 4G mobile internet access instead.
The National Communications Commission recently announced its timetable for the third round of Taiwan's 4G spectrum auction, during which potential bidders can submit applications and qualification for review. The bid winners will take mobile broadband universal services to rural areas with a guaranteed access speed of 100 megabytes per second.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently issued a public alert to encourage mobile users of 2G and 3G services to transfer to a 4G mobile broadband service. The NCC has been coordinating the process with existing 4G mobile broadband service operators, which have been simultaneously operating 2G and 3G services to achieve a seamless transfer from 2G and 3G to 4G by June 30 2017.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently announced that to develop the Internet of Things (IoT), telecommunications grade IoT numbers (with the 040 prefix) have become available and the 920 megahertz (MHz) to 925MHz band is planned as a non-telecommunications grade IoT band. According to the newly amended frequency assignment table, the NCC will gradually prescribe the additional technical specifications for low-power wide area network IoT equipment.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has taken a proactive approach in responding to queries regarding the proposed regulatory reform on existing functional regulations and recently officially released its legislative proposal on the existing Telecommunications Act and a conceptual new law on digital communications. The NCC has invited public comments before the draft laws are further presented to the Executive Yuan for review.
The Executive Yuan recently released its digital state project, aiming for a total investment of no less than $5.31 billion in the innovative economy between 2017 and 2025 for fast integration into next-generation broadband development. The National Communications Commission has stated that the broadband environment will be gradually upgraded to 2,000 megabits per second, with 90% coverage nationwide by the end of 2025.
In October 2016 the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communications Commission will finalise the spectrum re-farming proposal for review and approval. The authorities are considering full deployment of 5G infrastructure and further mobile and wireless application. Discussions are also taking place on the proposed improvement to auction rules for the assignment, in the hope that no dispute will occur regarding the swap of auctioned frequencies.
Six new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. The commissioners recently issued a press release stating that they will re-write the draft amendments to the existing Telecommunications Act and other broadcasting regulations. Further, they have confirmed that they will identify and release more spectrum for mobile broadband services and unlicensed bands for the Internet of Things.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications are looking into a request for a dedicated bandwidth allocation in the 865 megahertz band that was filed by the Taiwan Power Company. The NCC recently announced its review of a spectrum assignment plan regarding the uses of low-tier radio frequency equipment and subsequently released more spectrum for the Internet of Things.
All five of the 4G long-term evolution operators in Taiwan have launched a public warning system via the cell broadcasting centre for sending instant emergency and disaster alerts to 4G mobile users. The public warning system uses cell broadcast technology and is not affected by network congestion. It can transmit a specific message through an independent channel simultaneously to millions of mobile users for emergency and disaster notice.
The National Communications Commission recently concluded its review on the spectrum assignment plan regarding uses of low-tier radio frequency equipment and has released further spectrum for the Internet of Things. It is a follow-up to a previous invitation for public consultation – mainly from manufacturers of wearable technology – regarding a possible plan on frequency allocation for the Internet of Things which would support numerous applications.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is coordinating with the National Communications Commission for re-farming the 3G spectrum in the 2,100 megahertz (MHz) band and 800MHz band. The ministry has determined that the 800MHz band will be reserved for public protection and disaster relief. Provided that public protection and disaster relief always have priority, a certain frequency in the 800MHz band could be assigned to mobile broadband service.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has released its legislative proposal on five new laws to replace the Telecommunications Act, Terrestrial Radio and Television Act, Cable Television and Radio Act and Satellite Broadcasting Act. The NCC clarified that the new proposal does not suggest any business separation or entity spin-off of existing telecommunications carriers and licensed operators.
Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) recently announced the five winners of the 2,600 megahertz spectrum licence auction. The government will receive a total of NT$27.925 billion from the winners. The NCC has also disclosed its proposed measures for the secondary trade of spectrum rights, which is expected to boost trading between existing 4G operators which are spectrum listed for mobile broadband licences.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) is about to remove the final barrier to its upcoming auction of mobile broadband communication licences for fourth-generation long-term evolution. An administrative hearing will soon be held and the findings will be the basis for a further NCC decision regarding the survival of Global Mobile Corp, the only remaining wireless broadband alliance service operator.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently gave the green light for industry to harness the benefits of innovative new wireless technology. The NCC plans to release television white space in the 500 megahertz (MHz) to 600MHz band used by licensed terrestrial broadcasters for very high frequency and ultra high frequency, and is evaluating a potential interference issue alongside the release of identified frequencies to be allocated to the Internet of Things.
The National Communications Commission recently completed its plan for the band currently used for wireless broadband access (WBA) services and its adjacent band. It will be used to offer mobile broadband communication licences for fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE). Incumbents have expressed concern that WBA services on the same band will interfere with the upcoming deployment of frequency division duplex LTE.
Chunghwa Telecom has announced plans to launch its own-brand over-the-top content service and G.fast broadband internet-access services. It has also clarified that the application of G.fast technology on its copper wire networks is unlikely to defer future deployment of its new fibre-to-the-home networks.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has released its spectrum provision plan for 2015 and beyond. Analysis of existing spectrum use has been updated and a plan for future use is in consideration. The plan is subject to the ministry's annual review and amendments and the National Communications Commission will implement it by issuing new regulations.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) intends to improve the broadband access available to general users for fixed-line networks. FarEastone recently became the first incumbent to render its second-generation licence to the NCC in order to accelerate fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution deployment. The NCC has also announced a fibre-to-the-home enforcement measure for new-build residential and office buildings.
The success of the 2013 auction of mobile broadband communication licences for fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution has been tarnished by accusations of financial game playing and spectrum grabbing levelled by Taiwan's most powerful consumer lobbying organisation. The National Communications Commission is set to review its mobile virtual network operator policy as a result.
The National Communications Commission is pushing to conclude its regulation on converging digital communications and existing telecoms, radio and television industries. It has released a lengthy document on pending regulatory issues and practical measures for spectrum liberalisation and is planning to hold a conference inviting comments from interested parties.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently approved an extension of the use of the dedicated frequency in the 900 megahertz (MHz) band for electronic toll collection. According to the NCC, fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) subscriber numbers are set to continue increasing rapidly. The NCC noted that interference with the 4G LTE licence band should be avoided.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed a possible plan on frequency allocation for the Internet of Things which would support numerous applications. An NCC spokesman has said that the switch to digital television has freed up large areas of very high frequency and ultra high frequency bands and around 50 megahertz could be reserved for applications for the Internet of Things.
The government is looking into a potential threat to users' privacy further to reports that imported Xiaomi smartphones have been sending users' data back to China without consent. The Executive Yuan has stated that the government will decide whether there should be a ban on the domestic sale of Xiaomi smartphones. The National Communications Commission is conducting independent tests on the smartphones.
To promote the penetration of fourth generation services in Taiwan, the National Communications Commission has decided to offer the 57-64 megahertz band to mobile broadband operators for the deployment of trunk networks through the construction of small cell and femtocell. This band will be licence exempt, with no bidding, licence fee or spectrum-usage fee required.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communications Commission (NCC) have recently confirmed that the NCC will release the 2600 megahertz band by auction for more fourth generation (4G) services. However, the proposal is not necessarily welcome. Critics have highlighted serious interference from new 4G services on microphones deployed by television stations in adjacent frequencies.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has released the draft Recommendations and Strategies Concerning Legal Amendments Relating to Communications Convergence, planning to solicit public opinion in the upcoming months. The NCC has stressed that when regulations are amended in future, deregulation will be pursued and the regulatory framework will be geared towards flexible layering.
The Transportation Committee of the Legislative Yuan has requested that the National Communications Commission (NCC) impose a comprehensive ban on all China-made network equipment proposed by 4G operators for system construction. The NCC has stated that not using Chinese brands will not affect the construction schedule of operators.
The National Communications Commission has announced that 190MHz from the 2600MHz bands used by wireless broadband access operators will be available by the end of 2014. It stated that it will no longer approve mergers or grant licence renewals among worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) operators, as it now believes that all WiMAX operators have inefficient spectrum use on the 2600MHz bands.
Following completion of the competitive bidding process for licensing mobile broadband services, the National Communications Commission (NCC) issued establishment permits to six operators. It publicly announced that it urges all six 4G operators to launch 4G services during the third quarter of 2014. However, the operators have expressed their discontent about the NCC's cumbersome review procedure.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently gathered public opinion on issues such as fixed-line bandwidth competition and last-mile equal access and held a hearing to which all relevant telecommunications operators were invited to convey their opinions. The NCC has yet to confirm whether it will submit a complete draft convergence act to the Executive Yuan.
National securities authorities have warned the National Communications Commission and requested that telecommunications operators stop the procurement of network communications equipment manufactured by suppliers in China, such as Huawei. Huawei is reportedly upset about the governmental control measures.
The National Communications Commission recently announced that the Regulation Governing Mobile Communications Services will be amended to compel mobile operators to agree under their subscription contract to provide seven days' free internet service to subscribers for the purpose of evaluation. Consumers will have the right to request a minimum seven-day free trial before entering into a contract with mobile operators.
The competitive tender for 4G licences began recently with the participation of four incumbent operators and three new operators. The government has indicated that the tender "has overheated" and consumer advocates have openly criticised the design of the 4G tender rules for being problematic.
Taiwan and China have agreed to the mutual liberalisation of the telecommunications service sector under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services. Under the agreement, Taiwan will open Type II telecommunications businesses and China will open four additional services to Taiwanese investors. However, Taiwan will still impose restrictions, including a shareholding cap on Chinese investors.
The Executive Yuan recently concluded that the National Communications Commission (NCC) should reconsider its draft proposal to the amendment of the Telecommunications Act. It stated that the NCC is expected to present a new communications convergence regulation replacing all existing broadcasting laws by the end of March 2014.The NCC responded that it will attempt to meet the deadline.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has been under fire for its proposed compulsory measures in the draft amendment of the Telecommunications Act to assist further content owners whose rights may be infringed by file sharing. The NCC insists that it has no intention of intervening in content surveillance, but yields to the rulings of relevant government agencies whenever a blockade is technically available.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that the 4G auction will be conducted in November 2013. Subject to the NCC's approval, bid winners which are mobile phone business operators may apply to assign to each other based on the same bandwidth conditions. The NCC expects that within five years, up to 500 megahertz of bandwidth will be available through auction for more mobile broadband services.
China Mobile and FarEasTone recently announced that the share transfer agreement executed between them in 2009 will expire in June 2013. In addition, the two companies will not discuss equity investment again until the Taiwanese authorities lift the ban prohibiting Chinese citizens and legal entities from investing in the Taiwanese telecommunications industry.
The National Communications Commission had planned to resolve existing disputes regarding network interconnections between major telecommunications operators by amending the existing Regulations Governing Network Interconnections between Telecommunications Enterprises by the end of 2012. However, this objective was not achieved and a hearing is due to be conducted on April 25 2013.
Further to its efforts to introduce functional separation in Chunghwa Telecom in the latest amendments to the Telecommunications Act, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has again submitted a legislative proposal to the Executive Yuan for approval. The NCC has proposed that Chunghwa Telecom should always offer equal prices for the provision of access, if functional separation is not approved.
The National Communications Commission recently announced that mobile access tariffs will be adjusted. The commission believes that easing retail price control in the mobile communications market will help to reduce the burden on smaller operators and guide market competitors to further reduce retail prices.
The National Communications Commission plans to deregulate spectrum trading in 2013. However, major telecommunications operators are sceptical about the fast-changing policy and have questioned whether it is realistic to implement a spectrum trading system in less than a year when a draft regulation has not yet been made available for public consultation.
The National Communications Commission has announced that the Regulations Governing Network Interconnections Among Telecommunications Operators will be amended, and network interconnections between three major operators will soon be required to be free of charge. The newly amended regulations will also require other operators to invest in infrastructure in order to enjoy free interconnections.
The National Communications Commission has announced that from 2013, three frequency bands – 700 megahertz (MHz), 900MHz and 1800MHz – which are equivalent to the bandwidth of 135MHz x 2 will be released for auction. However, the most surprising news is that the frequency bands will be released in units of 5MHz x 2, which some see as a revenue-raising tactic by the government.
The Legislative Yuan organised a special session to approve the four new commissioners of the National Communications Commission nominated by the premier. Although all legislators from the opposition parties and some ruling party legislators voted against the nominees, all four still received a majority of the votes and have now taken office.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications recently solicited public opinions regarding the deregulation of new mobile communications services (ie, the attention-grabbing plan for fourth-generation (4G) licensing). According to the consultation paper released by the ministry, the scope of 4G licensing will be limited to 700 megahertz (MHz), 900 MHz and 1800 MHz in the future under the principle of technology neutrality.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has recognised Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and FarEasTone as dominant players in the mobile communications service market for Type I telecommunications enterprises. According to statistics released by the NCC, third-generation has become the mainstream technology of mobile communications in Taiwan, with a subscriber base in excess of 21 million.
The National Communications Commission recently conducted a public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act. The changes include a proposed functional separation of Chunghwa Telecom, so that its last-mile connection is released and can be shared by all telecommunications operators. The company opposes what it believes to be tantamount to a structural break-up.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs recently announced the third wave of sectors which have been opened to investment by Chinese investors. Type I telecommunications businesses still have not been deregulated. Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer, has been seeking to set up a subsidiary in Taiwan; however, it has yet to obtain approval from the Taiwanese government.
After approving Chunghwa Telecom's application for the Kinmen-Xiamen Submarine Cable Deployment Project, the National Communications Commission has now further approved a submarine cable link between Taiwan and China's Fujian Province. The entire project is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2012.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has officially requested that telecommunications operators which provide internet services should guarantee the minimum speed and bandwidth set forth in their promotional programmes. The NCC released its new requirement immediately after the Fair Trade Commission imposed a NT$5 million fine on Chunghwa Telecom for false and misleading advertising.
The National Communications Commission has approved Chunghwa Telecom's most recent plan for a uniform tariff for local and domestic long-distance calls nationwide. Local and long-distance calls from a household fixed-line phone will now be charged at NT$1.60 (US$0.05) per three minutes. During discounted time slots, calls will be charged be at NT$1 per three minutes – this is the lowest local call tariff worldwide.
Hopes have been raised for an earlier launch of fourth-generation (4G) operations by the news that the Science and Technology Advisory Group of the Executive Yuan is coordinating with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communications Commission on plans to use the 700 megahertz spectrum or idle frequency bands around 2.6 gigahertz for 4G services.
The National Communications Commission has approved Chunghwa Telecom's application for the Kinmen-Xiamen Submarine Cable Deployment Project. The cable will initially have a bandwidth capacity transmission speed of 9.6 terabytes per second. According to Chunghwa Telecom, the project is scheduled for completion by March 2012 and the construction cost is estimated at around $14 million.
As part of Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile's plans to expand their networks and base stations in order to provide high-speed internet access and accommodate ever-growing mobile internet access demands, they intend to break away from the current system in which no differentiation is made between heavy and light users. However, the National Communications Commission opposes this plan.
The government is once again considering WiMAX deregulation and its possible future. The Executive Yuan recently called a meeting to review strategies to address the plight of WiMAX operators. Among the proposals, the Ministry of Economic Affairs recommended that operators be allowed to consolidate among themselves before they are required to achieve the deployment threshold of 70% population coverage.
The National Communications Commission has confirmed that it has sent letters to all telecommunications operators in order to compel them to submit a list of all the network equipment included in past and present procurement projects that was manufactured by Chinese vendors.
Chunghwa Telecom has lowered its retail prices for both its 50Mbps/3Mbps and 20Mbps/2Mbps FTTx broadband services in the hope that the promotional plan would enable most broadband users to upgrade to the higher speed plans. In light of various reasons, the National Communications Commission urged Chunghwa to lower its wholesale prices for FTTx services, but it did so by between 1% and 2.5% only.
The Taipei High Administrative Court recently upheld the National Communications Commission decision to force Chunghwa Telecom to remove certain restrictions on its fibre-to-the-home high-speed internet service, Hinet FTTx. In deciding to apply the net neutrality principle narrowly, the NCC appears to have set out its position regarding non-discrimination in the provision of telecommunications services.
The National Communications Commission has confirmed a unified rate of telephone calls from offshore islands to anywhere on the Taiwanese mainland. This is the first step in achieving the goal of 'unified rate' calls nationwide, which means that there will be no more long-distance calls in Taiwan. The commission announced that the new measure will come into effect from early 2012.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) intends to introduce more competition into the converging television service market through the rezoning of digital cable television franchises and the introduction of tiered service packages. Existing operators have cautiously welcomed these policy-driven measures, but have requested further deregulation on price capping and on limitations on business expansion.
The National Communications Commission has decided to loosen the restrictions on Chunghwa Telecom's multimedia-on-demand service by amending the Cable Television Act. With this amendment, the NCC has allowed Chunghwa Telecom to integrate vertically in order to compete with cable multiple system operators which enjoy similar market conditions.
After lengthy discussions and intensive legal work, the National Communications Commission has finally announced that international submarine cable operators may apply for licences to deploy direct submarine cables across the strait between Taiwan and China.
The National Communications Commission has announced its amendments to the Regulations Governing Fixed-Network Telecommunications Businesses, allowing for the development of direct submarine cables across the straits between Taiwan and China. The relevant legal matters have now been approved.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has announced plans to allow cables to be laid connecting Taiwan and other offshore islands to China. However, the National Communications Commission will continue to restrict mutual investment between cross-strait telecommunications operators.
Three new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. Among other things, the new commissoners are charged with setting policy regarding the digitalisation of cable broadband services and legislative barriers to governmental bodies investing in telecommunications companies.
Three new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. Su Herng, Chang Si-chung and Wei Shyuo-wen succeeded Bonnie Peng, Lee Ta-sung and Hsieh Chin-nan. Commissioner Liu Chorng-jian was appointed to a second term. All the new commissioners are from the academic sphere.
The Executive Yuan has announced the Digital Convergence Development Policy in order to initiate a two-stage legislative overhaul and develop digital convergence industries. The government plans to relax the restrictions on cross-ownership of telecommunications, broadcasting and internet-based businesses.
In a move that has come as no surprise to the market, Taiwan's third-largest telecommunications company, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co, has announced that its board has approved a public tender offer for shares of its fixed-line subsidiary, New Century InfoComm Tech Co. Far EasTone thus becomes the third operator providing fixed-mobile convergence services.
According to an official, following Intel's unexpected move to dissolve its taskforce on worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) technology, the government plans to review its national fourth-generation (4G) wireless policy. Although Taiwan is one of the strongest supporters of WiMAX technology, equipment makers and operators are concerned about the rise of Long-Term Evolution technology – its 4G rival.
The director general of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications's Department of Post and Telecommunications has announced a plan to release at least five new licences for fourth-generation mobile technologies. Critics argue that the plan appears to invite only those players with deep pockets into the auction process and may force smaller players to consolidate or merge before entering the process.