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Hon Hai-invested Ambit's 4G scheme considered most cost-effective

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hon Hai-invested Ambit Microsystems Corp. (國碁電子) which picked up a 20 megahertz (MHz) 4G license, is seen as the most cost-efficient 4G telecoms service provider, according to analysts.

Market analysts also expect that Chunghwa Telecom (CHT, 中華電信) and Far EasTone (FET, 遠傳電信) will beat other telecoms firms to the inauguration of 4G mobile service.

Capital Securities Investment Consulting Co. (Capital) on Friday said in a research note that CHT early on crafted a deployment plan for base station antennas after seizing its 4G spectrum share, making it likely that the telecoms carrier will be the first 4G mobile service provider.

Central News Agency (CNA) cited Capital's research note in a report which says that CHT is slated to launch its 4G telecoms service in the second half of 2014.

Though it trails CHT, FET is expected to be among the first to provide 4G services even though the C4 spectrum block, one of two blocks won by FET, could be handed over only after some delay.

Before FET and Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大) can launch their respective 4G services, both companies will have to negotiate an exchange of spectrum sections, as the C1 spectrum block won by Taiwan Mobile is currently used by FET for 2G service, while the latter's C4 section is now in use by Taiwan Mobile for the same purpose.

However, FET garnered three licenses in late 2013. Its C3 and C4 sections, both in the 1800 MHz frequency band, are contiguous, allowing the company to provide optimal service at a rapid transmission rate.

FET, Taiwan Mobile Seeking to Launch Services Simultaneously

Earlier, Taiwan Mobile revealed that it is considering the possibility of launching its 4G services at the same time as FET.

Capital's research note also indicated that the successful bid for two sections by Microsystems Corp. (Ambit) is so far the most cost-effective bid.

Ambit gained two sections with a total of 20 MHz in bandwidth at a cost of NT$9.18 billion, prompting its chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) to declare: “Hon Hai is in the game for real.”

CHT and FET raised their stakes to prevent Taiwan Mobile from securing the ready-for-operation C5 block, leading CHT to buy the block at a spectacular 37.01-percent premium.

The auction for 4G mobile licenses in Taiwan began on Sept. 3 and ended on Oct. 30 after 392 rounds of bidding. The bids won by the six companies vying for licenses totaled NT$118.65 billion, 3.3 times the floor price set by the government.

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