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Tatung InfoComm lashes out at NCC over WiMAX

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tatung InfoComm (大同電信) yesterday lashed out against the National Communications Commission (NCC) for denying the company's application to renew its WiMAX license last week, which is set to expire early December, denying the firm a chance to upgrade to more current standards.

The NCC had earlier stated that the company's application was not approved as it had only managed to set up 681 signal towers, falling short of the 1,837 stated in contractual obligations.

The NCC's claim that it has been skirting network infrastructure investments are false, said the company.

The company explained that in 2010, just three years after WiMAX had been adopted in Taiwan, telecommunications sectors worldwide had begun to phase out the technology in favor of long-term evolution (LTE) and later fourth-generation (4G). As a result, countless WiMAX equipment and end-user device makers halted their support for the soon-to-be-phased-out technology, leaving the company unable to fulfill its infrastructure obligations.

Tatung InfoComm added that the NCC had once advised the company to purchase WiMAX 1.0 equipment from Israel-based Telrad Networks, which had since issued a statement explaining that the regulator's announcement was unfounded, as it is no longer producing WiMAX 1.0 equipment. Telrad stated that it is focusing on WiMAX 2.1, and that the NCC claims it is still selling WiMAX 1.0 equipment has damaged the company's reputation.

Tatung InfoComm accused the government of evicting its operations from the 2600MHz spectrum band, with plans to auction off frequency blocks to 4G operators next year, claiming that it has been misled into committing NT$10 billion into an obsolete technology.

Meanwhile, the NCC stated that Tatung InfoComm had been complacent in network infrastructure investments well before equipment makers had pulled out from WiMAX, adding that later iterations of the technology are fully backward compatible. In contrast to the company's difficulties in furnishing enough signal towers, 4G operators had built about 6,000 new towers over the course of this year, said the NCC.

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