The head of Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has dismissed claims that the government plans to push out the existing operators (specifically six WiMAX players) in the 2.6GHz band so it can re-auction the spectrum to LTE operators.
NCC Chairman Howard Shyr said WiMAX operators will be able to continue to use the frequency once they renew their licences, the Taipei Times reported.
Shyr’s response comes after reports earlier in the week that the NCC is drafting plans to release a sizeable chuck of 2.6GHz spectrum next year for TDD and FDD-based LTE services. The reports also said there were plans to release as much as 100MHz in the 1.9GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.6GHz bands after 2015, but the supply would depend on demand.
In addition, the NCC last month rejected WiMAX operator Tatung Infocomm’s renewal application, which has fueled speculation that the government wants to push out the WiMAX players.
Shyr noted that operators don’t automatically get an extension after their licences expire. The Times reported him as saying: “The WiMAX operators have known all along the rules, which have not been changed since 2007.”
A renewed licence is also valid for six years.
Shyr acknowledged that the new 2.6GHz blocks to be released next year will overlap with those used by WiMAX operators, but operators can return their current blocks and ask for them to be reassigned.
The WiMAX operators can of course participate in the auction next year and then migrate to LTE, although he said they would need to pay more in licence and usage fees.
The LTE auction last year raised TWD118.6 billion ($3.96 billion), and the floor for next year’s auction has been set by the government at TWD$15 billion.