By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter
Businesses can soon apply for licenses to test their own 5G networks, as the National Communications Commission (NCC) is planning to publicize regulations governing privately managed 5G networks in the first quarter this year.
Compared with 4G, 5G networks have a lower latency, higher capacity and increased bandwidth, the commission said.
Aside from consumer-oriented applications, 5G technology offers companies opportunities to create new devices and facilitate their production processes, it added.
The commission has since 2019 allowed companies to test concepts with practical potential on the 4.8 Gigahertz (GHz) to 4.9GHz band.
Since last year, it has received 29 proof-of-concept applications, including from HTC, Panasonic Taiwan, Quanta Computers and Chunghwa Telecom.
Chunghwa Telecom and the Ministry of Economic Affairs have built an independent 5G network in the Start-up Terrace in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口).
Panasonic Taiwan and Quanta Cloud Technology, a subsidiary of Quanta Computers, use their own 5G network to transmit high-definition images that enable assembly line workers at headlight manufacturing plants to install parts more accurately.
In contrast to consumer-oriented networks run by telecoms, companies’ internal 5G networks are not open to the public, NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said yesterday.
“Previously, we gave private companies special permission to test a concept or theory using the frequency band, but in the future they can also obtain a license to access the band,” Wong said.
“The regulations governing the license applications are scheduled to be released in the first quarter of this year, followed by a 60-day public comment period,” he added.
Companies can begin filing applications once the regulations are finalized, he said.
Licenses for private 5G networks would be issued after a review by the NCC commissioners rather than through a public tender, Wong said, adding that band usage fees would be charged from licensed firms.
The commissioners would examine the application based on criteria including coverage, management and security of a private 5G network, as well as the projected bandwidth, Wong said.
Meanwhile, the commission is to subsidize telecoms NT$5.5 billion (US$197.64 million) this year for building 5G base stations.
In November last year, one-and-a-half years after 5G was launched in Taiwan, the nation had about 25,000 base stations, with a service coverage rate of 87 percent and 4.38 million users, or 18.76 percent of the population, NCC data showed.
This compares with 10.08 million 4G users 18 months after that service was launched in 2014, it said.
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