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The ongoing spectrum auction is going beyond analysts’ expectations, showing telcos are willing to bid big for a share of the upcoming 5G pie

Taiwan’s ravenous telcos today continue to battle it out for shares of the country’s 5G spectrum. Yesterday, the bidding reached new heights, breaking the NT$100 billion (US$3.3 billion) barrier, and it’s not stopping yet.
 
“There is no sign that the bidding will end soon,” said Sheih Chi-mau, chairman and chief executive of Chunghwa Telecom. “It may take a few more days. The competition is fierce.”
 
The total of the sale is now expected to hit NT$114.9 billion (US$3.8 billion), around 98% of which has been for the licencing of the 3.5 GHz band. 
 
Mobile use is ubiquitous in Taiwan, with its population having more than one phone contract on average. Taiwanese subscribers are often reported as the biggest data consumers in Asia, significantly exceeding the data consumption of local neighbours China and South Korea. 
 
With the country’s expected rollout of 5G later this year, this makes the Taiwanese market a highly profitable one for the local telcos.
 
Nonetheless, given the size of the island nation, this level of investment is unprecedented – Germany, for example, which has a population over three-times the size of Taiwan, accrued only US$7.4 billion from its spectrum sale. 
 
5G connectivity for Taiwan is currently scheduled for mid-2020.
 
 
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