CommsUpdate: Taiwanese mobile network operators Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) and Far EasTone (FET) have announced details of a major spectrum swap as part of merger deal between the two operators.
In separate statements to the Taiwanese bourse, it was confirmed that FET will swap its 25-MHz unpaired block in the 2600-MHz band (2595 MHz-2620 MHz) for APT’s 2×5-MHz block of spectrum in the 700-MHz band (723 MHz-728 MHz and 778 MHz-783 MHz).
In terms of the value of the spectrum swap, FET said that this had been calculated “based on the residual value at the end of the month starting from the next month after the end of the respective bidding and amortised to the end of the month for the spectrum swap application approved by the National Communications Commission.”
In line with this, it was stated that the fair value of FET’s spectrum had been calculated at NT$1.4 billion ($48.3 million), while APT’s frequencies had been valued at NT$1.7 billion.
As a result, it has been confirmed that FET will pay the difference between the two sums (NT$300 million) to APT as part of the spectrum swap agreement.
In February, FET and APT announced plans to merge via a share swap deal reported at the time to be valued at around NT$24.7 billion ($845 million). It is understood that the merged entity will continue to trade under the FET banner, while the APT brand will be discontinued.
A stock exchange filing in April confirmed that APT shareholders voted in favour of the merger with FET, and noted that the merger completion date is still ‘tentatively’ set as 30 September 2022.
In September 2020, FET and APT inked a separate spectrum sharing deal, under which APT would gain access to FET’s 5G-suitable 3.5-GHz spectrum, paying NT$9.47 billion to use the frequencies, while also sharing network deployment costs. That deal was signed in parallel to FET’s purchase of an 11.58% stake in APT for $178 million. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) granted conditional approval of the 5G spectrum sharing deal in March 2021.
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