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.
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.