Taiwan calls for Asia-Pacific Telecom to boost 4G coverage

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) demanded Asia-Pacific Telecom (APT) improve its 4G coverage before it is allowed to enter a 5G network sharing agreement with rival Far EasTone Telecommunications.

Taipei Times reported, the operators struck a strategic partnership through a share swap deal which saw APT contribute TWD$9.4 billion (£333 million) to construct a 5G network on the 3.5GHz band with Far EasTone.

This would account for two-ninths of the total construction costs of the network, which would gain APT that fraction of access to the network for 20 years.

The NCC is currently reviewing the operator partnership which will be the first network sharing agreement in Taiwan if approved, noted Taipei Times.

Wong Po-tsung, NCC Vice Chairman said: “We are cautiously optimistic about the partnership, but we want the two carriers to offer more information on how each of them can manage the network independently, maintain 5G service quality, raise the service coverage rate and ensure full disclosure of information”.

Wong noted the NCC is particularly concerned by APT’s 4G service coverage rate, and that it was significantly lower than rivals.

“From our perspective, if they want to share the use of the spectrum and network, subscribers in both companies must be treated equally. They should experience the same download and upload speed when they access the 5G services, for example,” said Wong, calling for APT to fully disclose service information such as 4G coverage to consumers.

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