Taiwan’s National Communications Commission plans to auction Long Term Evolution spectrum in the fall of 2015, with awards by the end of the year.

Minimum prices have been set at a total of TW $14.4 billion (US $460.4 million).

The 2.5 GHz and 2.6 GHz frequencies will expand the amount of LTE spectrum available in Taiwan by the award of six licenses.

It remains to be seen how aggressive bidders will be, as the last auction of 4G spectrum found operators paying high prices, with the obvious implications for capital recovery.

In that intensely competitive 4G auction in 2013, operators wound up paying 2.3 times the reserve prices. Greater caution is expected this time around.

In 2013, the 4G auction raised TW$118.6 billion (US $3.79 billion).

It is possible seven or more entities, including five mobile operators, will be bidding.

Local operators currently offering LTE services include Ambit, APT, Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone, Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star Telecom.

NCC: Frequency band units to be released for 4G operation
Band unit codeFrequency rangeTotal bandwidth (MHz)Floor price (NT$m)
D1 (2 matched units)2,500-2,520MHz; 2,620-2,640MHz403,500
D2 (2 matched units)2,520-2,540MHz; 2,640-2,660MHz403,700
D3 (2 matched units)2,540-2,560MHz; 2,660-2,680MHz403,700
D4 (2 matched units)2,560-2,570MHz; 2,680-2,690MHz201,900
D5 (single unit)2,570-2,595MHz with 2,570-2,575 being a guard band unit25900
D6 (single unit)2,595-2,620MHz with 2,615-2,620 being a guard band unit25700

Source: NCC, compiled by Digitimes, July 2015