Foxconn Technology Group, whose operations include the manufacture of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, has submitted an application to Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) to be a qualified bidder in the country’s upcoming auction of 4G spectrum.

Otherwise known as Hon Hai, a Taiwanese technology giant, the Foxconn Technology Group is looking to diversify beyond its traditional core businesses of PC and mobile device manufacturing.

Regulator NCC, according to various reports, confirmed Hon Hai among the bidders on 1 July, the deadline set for applicants. The technology firm is making its application through Ambit Microsystems, a Hon Hai business unit.

Foxconn’s entry into the 4G race takes the total number of applicants up to seven. The others, according to Digitimes, include Taiwan’s existing 3G operators – Asia Pacific Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone Telecommunications and Taiwan Mobile – a mobile telecom company newly established by the Ting Hsin International Group, and a company newly set up by the Shinkong Group.

NCC says it will announce the list of qualified bidders by the end of August with the auction slated for early September.

Five licences are likely to be awarded, according to various reports, with a combined reserve price set at TWD35.9 billion ($1.2 billion) for all spectrum going under the hammer.

NCC will auction spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands.