Market bigwigs form alliance in pursuit up impending 4G network
By Ted Chen, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- With seven contestants confirmed in the pursuit of the upcoming fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband network, recent media reports have emerged indicating that the Foxlink Group (正崴集團) intends to collaborate with one of the non-telecoms new entrants.
August 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
Reports indicate that the Foxlink Group, led by Chairman Gou Tai-chiang (郭台強), intends to collaborate with Star of Taiwan (台灣之星), a subsidiary backed by the Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) in the pursuit for 4G in the form of a corporate alliance or acquisition of additional portions of ownership stakes.
However, both companies declined to officially comment on ongoing reports. Foxlink indicated that its chairman has for a long time been a staunch supporter for the accelerated proliferation of the 4G network in Taiwan. Gou's business group, with its wide coverage of A Studio retail outlets, will greatly facilitate future 4G operations, representing the ideal choice for partnership, Star of Taiwan management reportedly said.
Incidentally, Gou Tai-Chiang's move represents his intent to pursue the 4G network independently from brother Terry Gou, chairman of the Hon Hai Group, the world's largest contract electronics contract manufacturer, who is currently vying for a operating license through its subsidiary Ambit Microsystems Corporation (國碁電子).
Meanwhile, as the operating license bidding begins on Sept. 3, in addition to Taiwan's “big three” telecoms carriers, the auction is brewing into a contest among Taiwan's most endowed tycoons and their conglomerates, including Fubon Financial Group, the Shin Kong Group, and the Far Eastern Group. As a result, alliances are being formed for the purpose of seeking larger war chests or greater technical capabilities, according to reports.
The National Communications Commission (NCC, 國家傳播委員會) intends to auction off licenses for the operation of 270 Megahertz o bandwidth, exceeding the 170 Megahertz released during the previous 3G era by over one-third. Based on the precedents set during the 3G auction, where total bids exceeded NT$48.9 billion, industry observers expect total bids to rise significantly in relation to amount of bandwidth released, reaching in excess of NT$60 billion or even NT$70 billion.
Ahead of the 4G bidding, telecoms carriers and related enterprises on both sides of the strait announced that they are eying the so-called fifth-generation mobile network in the Greater China region, during a conference held in Taichung on Tuesday. To date the fledgling 5G network has not seen the establishment of internationally unified standards and protocols, and remains largely in the experimental phase. Reports have emerged from South Korea, where Samsung announced its 5G efforts have entered the testing phase, boasting download speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second, surpassing conventional 4G capabilities by a hundredfold.