Supply chain
Is designated 5G band feasible in Taiwan?
Bryan Chuang, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES

While the Taiwan government has designated frequency band of 4.8-4.9GHz with bandwidth of 100MHz for the public organizations and private enterprises to implement their dedicated 5G networks, it remains to be seen if the move will satisify their needs.

The government plans to release 3.5GHz band with bandwidth of 270MHz, 28GHz band with 2500MHz and 1.8GHz with 20MHz through open auction bid starting on December 10, with 3.5GHz band being regarded as a core spectrum band for 5G deployments.

Many public and private entities previously urged the government to designate frequency band ranges within the 3.5GHz spectrum, such as 3,700-3,800MHz frequency band for private 5G vertical applications.

But the requested band could interfere with normal 5G commercial operations, impact telecom carriers' incomes from enterprise clients, and squeeze frequency bands to be available for 5G commercial services.

The government has also set stringent rules for organizations or companies applying to use the designated frequency band, requiring them to first conduct a one-year experiment to verify the innovativeness and necessity of their applications, and then submit a related business plan to the authority for review every three years.

Although interested enterprises and organizations can apply for trial use of the 5G dedicated band now, the government has stated it will not issue operating licenses for the 5G dedicated band until at least 2021-2022.

Many industrial observers argue that such restrictions could hamper the developments of 5G vertical applications by the private sector. For example, the IC manufacturing nodes may evolve 1-2 generations in three years, and it makes no sense that semiconductor firms will have to wait for three years before receiving the licneses.

It is understandable that the rules - prepared by the National Communications Commission (NCC) - aims to promote cooperation between the vertical industries and telecom operators in order to create a win-win situation to ensure the release of 5G spectrums at reasonable price levels.

However, many local companies, including those in the petrochemical, semiconductor and smart manufacturing industries, as well as exhibition halls, hospitals and logistics operators are longing for their own 5G networks to provide unique, high reliability, high coverage and self-operated 5G services.

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