The National Communications Commission (NCC) approved draft amendments to certain provisions of Regulations Governing the Use of Radio Frequencies (hereinafter, Regulations) during its 966th Commission Meeting held on June 2nd. One such amendment stipulates thattelecommunications enterprises may apply for the provision or sharing of a 2100 MHz frequency band (limited to circuit-switched mobile voice services); the actual usable bandwidth for the telecommunications enterprise for each frequency band has also been amended. These changes facilitate greater flexibility when adapting to frequency allocation and allows enterprises to provide or share frequency in line with the framework of the Telecommunications Management Act; it also allows them to more effectively respond to the characteristics of various frequency bands and their conditions.
NCC stated that these changes were made in response to the general trend of both domestic and foreign telecommunications enterprises planning to terminate 3G networks. Consequently, stipulations regardingthe 2100 MHz frequency band (1920-1980/2110-2170MHz), limited to CSFB (Circuit Switched Fallback) voice services were added to allow for their provision or sharing. By doing so, domestic telecommunications enterprises can work towards the shutdown of their 3G networks according to their own planning and operating strategies. After the 3G network has been terminated, if a company's subscribers fail to update to VoLTE (Voice over LTE) in time, they can continue to use the circuit-switched voice service of the 3G network of other telecommunications enterprises through the sharing of the 2100 MHz frequency band. As a result, consumers’ rights can remain protected, system maintenance costs can be reduced, and the general efficiency of spectrum usage can be improved, all of which can not only stimulate development and innovation for 5G services, but also conserve energy and allow for carbon reduction.
NCC added that the revision of actual usable bandwidth of telecommunications enterprise is primarily based on the fact that the bandwidth of the millimeter wave frequency band is often over hundreds of MHz, and the equipment ecosystem and application types of the millimeter wave are still developing. In that light, NCC has referred to the practices of certain telecommunications regulatory agencies around the globe, setting the actual usable bandwidth cap of the millimeter wave (such as 24 GHz and above) frequency bands and the low and medium frequency bands, separately. After these amendments come into place, the fair and reasonable management of various frequency bands can be realized without adversely affecting market competition, allowing relevant frequency bands greater flexibility for their use and promoting the development of emerging applications for mobile broadband communications.
In the near future, the draft shall be announced to the public for sixty days in advance, allowing for public consultation, ultimately, aiming to ensure the revised regulations are complete and more in line with the development of national communications.