The National Communications Commission (NCC) expects the nation’s five telecoms to all participate in a 5G spectrum auction at the end of this year, NCC Acting Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang (陳耀祥) said on Tuesday, adding that no non-telecom operators have expressed an interest in the auction.

The commission would accept public tender applications until Oct. 3, Chen added.

Chen made the remarks on the sidelines of a 5G service forum.

The five are Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far Eastern Telecommunications, Taiwan Star and Asia-Pacific Telecom.

Last month, the commission announced that the minimum bids for frequency blocks in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz), 2.8GHZ and 1.8GHz ranges would total NT$30 billion (US$960.9 million)

The Telecommunications Management Act (電信管理法), which is scheduled to be implemented on July 1 next year, would treat all telecoms equally, Chen said, adding that the act would allow those that do not own spectrum to offer telecom services as long as they fulfill the legal requirements set by the commission.

However, those that obtain spectrum would be obligated to build infrastructure to use it, he said, adding that how they cooperate with other telecoms would depend on their business model.

The new technology requires more bandwidth and operates at higher speeds than 4G, enabling more connectivity and lower latency, he said.

“The deployment of 5G would not be limited to the telecommunications industry. It will facilitate the integration of different service fields and the creation of innovative service,” Chen said.

For example, the commission is working with the Taipei City Government to develop a smart transportation service that uses 5G technology, he said.

The technology could also be used to develop robots needed to address a personnel shortage in the long-term care industry, as well as various smart services, he added.

Asked why no telecommunications experts from China, one of the leaders in 5G technology, were at the forum, Chen said that 5G has emerged as one of the biggest areas of contention in a trade dispute between China and the US.

In matters related to China, the government would not only consider the development of Taiwan’s telecom industry, but also national security issues, he said.