Tech official calls for fairness in transition to LTE from WiMAX

Telecom Lead Team: The new technology expert of Cabinet in Taiwan has urged
the government to address the issue of fairness among Taiwan’s telecom
operators if it turns to LTE technology for high-speed network.

According to Simon Chang, a minister without portfolio and a former Google
executive recently said that that WiMAX technology is likely to be overtaken by
LTE technology.


Presently, WiMAX is the most favored 4G technology, but
moving away from WiMAX will raise questions of fairness for those operators who
have already invested in WiMAX networks and those interested in obtaining
licenses to build LTE networks.

“It involves the length of the concession the government gave to WiMAX
operators to use their frequency bands and whether the WiMAX licenses owned by
existing operators should be released and transferred to third-party companies
if the government wants to shift to LTE,”said Simon Chang.

Taiwan currently has six licensed WiMAX operators — Global Mobile, VMAX
Telecom, Far EasTone Telecommunications, First International Telecom, Tatung
InfoComm and Vee Telecom Multimedia.

All these six operators have accumulated only 133,067 WiMAX subscribers as of
December 2011 since acquiring licenses in 2007, according to the National
Communications Commission (NCC).


Last year, Taipei Computer Association Chairman J.T. Wang
suggested that Taiwan’s WiMAX operators should merge to expand their economic
scale and maximize available resources. In response, Far EasTone President
Yvonne Li echoed Wang’s said that six players were too many for Taiwan’s WiMAX
market. She hoped government authorities such as the NCC could lower the bar
for mergers of these operators, according to a media report.

“Mergers seem to be locked at this stage, but media reports said that the
NCC may tacitly agree to mutual ownership of stocks among WiMAX operators,
which is what we can do now before any laws are revised,” Chang


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