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NCC and telecoms wrangle over 4G tech
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-31 02:18 PM
Taiwan will, once again, release 2600MHz frequency 4G broadband licenses. According to Digitimes, three 2600MHz band units will be released at the end of 2014 or in early 2015 and most 4G licensees and existing WiMAX operators are expected to vie for them. However, the telecom industry and the government disagree on how to choose a frequency band technology. The National Communications Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) have decided on a European standard employing a hybrid time-division duplexing (TDD) and frequency-division duplexing design (FDD).

However, the telecom industry believes that this design wastes frequency spectrum and wishes to employ a complete TDD design based on U.S. standards that will be compatible with Japan and China.

Former Minister without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan Chang San-Cheng stated that industry suggestions for 2600MHz technologies will be submitted in a forum but the MOTC and NCC have already decided to employ a European standard. The industry points out that a design compatible with the U.S. and China will have comparatively more applications and generate greater future business opportunities in Taiwan.

There are two major directions in global 2600MHz technology planning. The first is the European standard that employs hybrid FDD and TDD technology to divide the frequency band in to 3 sections. The front and back section utilizes paired spectrum required by FDD and the middle section employs TDD technology. The U.S., Japan, and China employ TDD technology planned for complete flexibility.

The NCC stated that the main consideration for employing a European standard was that simultaneous utilizing of two technologies promotes technological neutrality. This allows telecoms to bid on their desired frequency band. A pure TDD system bears the risk of incompatibility with Europe and there are also a large number of international products that utilize the mature application of FDD technological design.

However, telecoms already have rebuttals. The industry points out, the bandwidth being released by the NCC reaches 190MHz. If a European standard is employed, the first concern is the required isolation of a portion of the 2600MHz frequency band due to interference from Japanese satellite television. This section just happens to be on the spectrum required by FDD.

In order to isolate Japanese interference, paired frequency required by FDD will waste 40MHz of bandwidth. With the addition of buffer spectrum design, only 140MHz of bandwidth will actually be left. Furthermore, certain portions of the frequency band must remain idle which is a waste of resources. Thus, the industry suggests employing a U.S. standard.

Network communications equipment companies also iterate, China is fully promoting TDD technology, employing a U.S. standard can reduce frequency band waste, and existing business and academic R&D achievements can be more easily transferred to TDD technology. Thus, these companies suggest expanding frequency bands employing TDD technology to give Taiwanese companies an opportunity to expand their market.

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