Shay & Partners

Taipei

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.

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Updates

Aviation

New drone regulations to come into force in 2020
Taiwan | 28 August 2019

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

New Telecommunications Act on horizon
Taiwan | 23 August 2019

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.

NCC publishes 5G spectrum auction rules
Taiwan | 16 August 2019

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.

Huawei ban – will smartphones lose their smarts?
Taiwan | 14 June 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.

New measures to regulate OTT service providers
Taiwan | 07 June 2019

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.

Cable TV operators battle media on demand
Taiwan | 22 March 2019

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.

Huawei's deepening dilemma in Taiwan
Taiwan | 08 February 2019

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.

5G regulatory sandbox expanded
Taiwan | 23 November 2018

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.

NCC responds to public consultation on 5G spectrum planning
Taiwan | 05 September 2018

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.

NCC invites public comments on 5G spectrum planning
Taiwan | 20 June 2018

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.

5G spectrum auction planned for July 2018
Taiwan | 09 May 2018

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.

Next big thing – 5G and narrowband Internet of Things
Taiwan | 14 February 2018

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.

NCC warns of WiFi security breach
Taiwan | 01 November 2017

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.

Third round of Taiwan's 4G spectrum auction announced
Taiwan | 23 August 2017

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.

NCC announces big leap in 4G mobile broadband service
Taiwan | 31 May 2017

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.

NCC considers spectrum and numbers for Internet of Things
Taiwan | 29 March 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.

NCC promotes regulatory reform of telecoms liberalisation
Taiwan | 08 February 2017

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.

Digital human rights initiative announced
Taiwan | 14 December 2016

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.

Further spectrum re-farming on the way
Taiwan | 05 October 2016

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.

New commissioners appointed to NCC
Taiwan | 24 August 2016

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.

Frequency allocation for utilities on Internet of Things
Taiwan | 27 July 2016

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.

Public warning system launches on 4G LTE service
Taiwan | 22 June 2016

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.

NCC allocates more spectrum for Internet of Things
Taiwan | 11 May 2016

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.

Re-farming 3G spectrum
Taiwan | 27 April 2016

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.

NCC initiates regulatory reform and digital convergence
Taiwan | 09 March 2016

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.

Winners in round two of Taiwan's 4G spectrum auction announced
Taiwan | 23 December 2015

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.

Administrative hearing on final destination of WBA service
Taiwan | 28 October 2015

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.

Television white space and the Internet of Things
Taiwan | 09 September 2015

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.

2600 megahertz band to be released for auction
Taiwan | 12 August 2015

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 takes on over-the-top content challenge
Taiwan | 01 July 2015

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.

Spectrum provision plan released for 2015 and beyond
Taiwan | 27 May 2015

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.

Further broadband access policy implemented
Taiwan | 15 April 2015

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.

NCC reviews MVNO policy
Taiwan | 25 February 2015

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.

NCC invites comment on spectrum policy
Taiwan | 21 January 2015

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.

Frequency coordination completed for electronic toll collection
Taiwan | 17 December 2014

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.

NCC considers frequency allocation for Internet of Things
Taiwan | 26 November 2014

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.

Government considers ban on Xiaomi smartphones
Taiwan | 15 October 2014

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.

More spectrum offered for 4G deployment
Taiwan | 08 October 2014

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.

More 4G spectrum available in 2016
Taiwan | 03 September 2014

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.

NCC invites comment on proposed Communications Convergence Act
Taiwan | 23 July 2014

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.

Huwei's 4G dilemma
Taiwan | 11 June 2014

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.

NCC abandons WiMAX
Taiwan | 30 April 2014

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.

4G deployment targeted for 2014 third quarter
Taiwan | 26 March 2014

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.

NCC invites public consultation on solutions to fix network monopoly
Taiwan | 12 February 2014

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.

Procurement of Huawei's products banned in Taiwan
Taiwan | 11 December 2013

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.

Mandatory seven-day trial of mobile internet service imminent
Taiwan | 27 November 2013

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.

4G spectrums turn hot
Taiwan | 23 October 2013

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.

Liberalisation of telecommunications service sector between Taiwan and China
Taiwan | 21 August 2013

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.

New Communications Convergence Act planned for 2014
Taiwan | 14 August 2013

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.

Common carrier defence to be further examined
Taiwan | 17 July 2013

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.

NCC announces 4G auction
Taiwan | 05 June 2013

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 terminates share acquisition in FarEasTone
Taiwan | 08 May 2013

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.

NCC announces hearing on network interconnections
Taiwan | 24 April 2013

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.

NCC requires functional separation in Chunghwa Telecom
Taiwan | 13 March 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.

NCC relaxes telecommunications retail price control
Taiwan | 23 January 2013

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.

NCC considers spectrum trading
Taiwan | 28 November 2012

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.

NCC decided on free internet interconnections
Taiwan | 10 October 2012

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.

NCC announces release of 4G licences
Taiwan | 26 September 2012

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.

Congress approves appointment of new NCC commissioners
Taiwan | 22 August 2012

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.

Ministry publishes public consultation on mobile broadband service licences
Taiwan | 18 July 2012

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.

NCC announces dominant 3G market players
Taiwan | 11 July 2012

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.

Chunghwa Telecom opposes amendments to the Telecommunications Act
Taiwan | 06 June 2012

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.

Government postpones Huawei's investment in telecoms sector
Taiwan | 09 May 2012

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.

NCC approves second submarine cable link between Taiwan and China
Taiwan | 25 April 2012

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.

NCC requests operators to guarantee internet bandwidths
Taiwan | 28 March 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.

Single flat rate for both local and long-distance calls
Taiwan | 25 January 2012

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.

Ministry and NCC warming up for 4G licences
Taiwan | 21 December 2011

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.

NCC approves submarine cable link between Taiwan and China
Taiwan | 12 October 2011

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.

Operators delay plans for tier-pricing mechanism for mobile internet users
Taiwan | 17 August 2011

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.

WiMAX and LTE: an unsolved policy dilemma
Taiwan | 29 June 2011

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.

NCC launches investigation into telecoms equipment made in China
Taiwan | 15 June 2011

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.

NCC approves Chunghwa's new fibre-to-the-home service rates
Taiwan | 25 May 2011

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.

Court confirms net neutrality rule on discriminatory pricing plan
Taiwan | 11 May 2011

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.

New fixed and mobile service pricing plans about to launch
Taiwan | 13 April 2011

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.

NCC policy on converged digital services
Taiwan | 17 February 2011

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.

Commission relaxes multimedia-on-demand restrictions
Taiwan | 02 February 2011

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.

NCC invites applications to provide direct submarine cables across Taiwan Strait
Taiwan | 26 January 2011

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.

Commission approves direct submarine cables across Taiwan-China straits
Taiwan | 15 December 2010

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.

Ban on cross-strait submarine cables lifted
Taiwan | 13 October 2010

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.

New commissioners consider cable broadband services options
Taiwan | 16 September 2010

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.

New commissioners elected into the NCC
Taiwan | 15 September 2010

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.

Taiwan to implement digital convergence policy
Taiwan | 08 September 2010

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.

Major telecommunications companies embrace fixed-mobile convergence
Taiwan | 01 September 2010

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.

Government to review 4G policy as Intel dissolves WiMAX taskforce
Taiwan | 18 August 2010

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.

Department of Post and Telecommunications plans to release 4G licence spectrum
Taiwan | 30 June 2010

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.

Identical pricing for local and mobile calls from 2011
Taiwan | 23 June 2010

The National Communications Commission has approved a policy to shift the right to determine the price of a local-to-mobile phone call from the mobile operators to the fixed network operators from January 1 2011. It is estimated that the price of local-to-mobile calls could drop by up to 60%.

NCC allows WiMAX operators to upgrade to LTE technology
Taiwan | 09 June 2010

The National Communications Commission has reacted positively to the news that Taiwan's incumbent Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access operators intend to convert to Long Term Evolution technology, which is considered to be a fourth-generation mobile technology.

NCC rejects Chunghwa's free ADSL upgrade plan
Taiwan | 19 May 2010

The National Communications Commission (NCC) has rejected Chunghwa Telecom's plan to upgrade low-speed ADSL services (ie, those in the 256 kilobytes per second (Kbps) to 512 Kbps, 1 megabit per second (Mbps) to 2 Mbps, and 2 Mbps to 3 Mbps ranges) free of charge due to fears over market competition and quality of service.

FITEL obtains final WiMAX licence
Taiwan | 12 May 2010

The National Communications Commission has issued the final worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) regional licence to First International Telecom. All six WiMAX operators have obtained operation licences to provide mobile broadband servicse in Taiwan since they were awarded regional licences in August 2007.

NCC plans to rewrite wholesale pricing regulation
Taiwan | 24 March 2010

The National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced a proposal to amend the Regulations Governing Tariffs of Type I Telecommunications Enterprises with respect to wholesale price regulation of operators with significant market power. The NCC aims to lower transaction costs among the telecommunications operators and promote the competitiveness of the telecommunications market.

NCC to appoint universal data service providers annually
Taiwan | 17 March 2010

The National Communications Commission has announced an amendment to Article 13 of the Regulations on Telecommunications Universal Service, providing that it may, by March 1 of the year before the year of implementation, announce and appoint the incumbent operators or other Type I telecommunications operators to offer universal data services to specified remote villages.

NCC retains ban on Chinese investment in Type I telecoms
Taiwan | 03 February 2010

Taiwan and China have formally signed three new cooperation agreements in the telecommunications sector. However, the National Communications Commission maintained its position regarding the prohibition of Chinese investment in Type I telecommunications operators, despite the fact that the proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China is likely to be signed in the near future.

NCC to Implement Tariff Cuts Regime
Taiwan | 27 January 2010

The National Communications Commission has announced a rate reduction plan to cut significantly nationwide mobile phone service rates, reasoning that the cuts will benefit carriers in the long run. The decision has upset many players in the telecommunications industry, which reject the commission's reasoning, oppose its policy and have threatened to appeal should the cuts be implemented.

Chunghwa Telecom to Reduce Internet Protocol Peering Fees
Taiwan | 23 September 2009

The National Communications Commission has agreed upon a new rate plan for Internet Protocol peering fees provided by Chunghwa Telecom in order to ease tensions among other internet service providers, including Taiwan Fixed Network. The commission hopes that the savings made by the ISPs due to the reduced peering fees will be passed on to consumers.

Reducing the Digital Divide: Power Line Communication
Taiwan | 16 September 2009

The National Communications Commission and Far Eastone Telecommunication (FET) have announced that the first steps have been taken towards reducing the digital divide in certain remote villages by using lines also used for electric power transmission to carry the data needed to provide broadband services. FET will offer free broadband access with speeds of at least two megabits per second to the area until 2011.

Internet Protocol Peering Fees to be Screened Annually
Taiwan | 22 July 2009

The National Communications Commission has announced plans to screen the Internet Protocol peering fees annually rather than biennially, in order to settle the dispute regarding the calculation of such fees payable by Taiwan Fixed Network to Chunghwa Telecom.

Content Control for Telecommunications Platforms
Taiwan | 09 July 2009

The National Communications Commission has decided to amend the Regulations Governing the Third Generation (3G) Mobile Telecommunications Services, adding a requirement for those who supply channel programming over 3G networks to obtain approval or licences pursuant to the same regulatory requirements as other broadcasting services.

China Mobile Plans to Acquire 12% Stake in Taiwanese Operator
Taiwan | 24 June 2009

Representatives of China and Taiwan have signed a declaration which, among other things, opens the doors to Chinese investment in Taiwan. Just three days later, Far EasTone Telecommunications Limited announced its plans for a strategic cooperation agreement and a share subscription agreement with China Mobile Limited, the world's largest mobile telecommunications operator.

Congress Agrees Bill on Base Station Control Measures
Taiwan | 20 May 2009

If a proposed bill to amend the Telecommunications Act is passed in the forthcoming general assembly meeting, not only will existing second and third-generation operators be threatened with the removal of their base stations, but the would-be operators of Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access will be left with nowhere to construct their base stations.

Mobile Telecommunication Firms Ordered to Float Shares
Taiwan | 13 May 2009

The National Communications Commission has approved the Procedure on Public Offerings of Mobile Operators. Mobile operators (including third-generation mobile operators) and 1900 megahertz digital low-tier cordless telephone operators are required to comply with certain measures in order to allow for the supervision of their financial management.

Telecom Giants Ordered to Cut Prices for Third Consecutive Year
Taiwan | 06 May 2009

For the third consecutive year the three largest mobile network companies in Taiwan have been ordered to cut the rates charged on the most expensive second-generation (2G) mobile network calls, local calls to 2G mobile networks and calls made using prepaid cards. These cuts amount to an overall price decrease of almost 15%, and have been widely criticized by players in the industry.