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WiMax licence bidders flash checkbooks at Govt. but legislators demand health impact study first
Taiwan Created: 19 Jul 2007
While the eight candidates vying for operating licenses were announced, environmental protection advocates raised the specter of potential health hazards.

The National Communications Committee (NCC) released a list yesterday of eight candidates who had qualified for the second round of bidding for Worldwide Inter-operability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) operating licenses.

The successful candidates include Chunghwa Telecom Co, Far EasTone Telecom Co, Taiwan Digital Communication Corp, Vastar Cable TV System Corp, Global On Corp, Tatung Co, First International Telecom Corp and a joint venture company formed by Vibo Telecom and Tecom Co. All obtained a passing grade of 75 points in the review.

"We are 100 percent sure we will win a license as we are offering to pay the government more than 10 percent of our revenues from future WiMAX operations," president Charlie Wu told the Taipei Times by telephone.

Yesterday's offer was much higher than the annual floor rate of 1.5 percent set by the NCC. The rate paid for use of the nation's radio spectrum will be the deciding factor in the final round of bidding.

With high-speed WiMAX services, First International Telecom -- the nation's sole short-range PHS operator -- would be able to compete with local mobile operators using third-generation (3G) technology, Wu said.

The eight candidates will bid for six operating licenses on July 26. The bidding rules dictate that three operating licenses be issued to the northern region and three to the south.

Chunghwa, Far EasTone, Taiwan Digital, Tatung and the Vibo-Tecom team have applied for WiMAX licenses in both regions. Vastar has only applied for a license in the south, while Global On and First International only applied for licenses in the north.

Wu said that in the initial stage, the company planned to invest up to NT$4 billion (US$121.5 million) building its WiMAX network in northern Taiwan.

To fund the new business, the company has been in talks with several foreign companies including Intel Corp's venture company Intel Capital.

"We could sell a stake by issuing new shares," Wu said, adding that the company aimed to raise NT$2 billion from the share sale.

Companies that failed to qualify included Won Won Infocomm Co, Pan Overseas Corp, Asia Pacific Broadband Telecom Co, Ubiquitous Mobile Multimedia Inc and Chunghwa Wideband Best Network Co.

Won Won protested the result, saying that news the five companies would fail to qualify had been leaked to the industry.

In response, NCC spokesperson Howard Shyr (石世豪) said the commission had followed rigorous screening procedures. He said the five applicants had failed the review mainly because their capacity in technology, finance and customer service had been deemed insufficient to meet future challenges, adding that the five companies had been found to have problems on all factors.

Separately, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) and several environmental protection advocates yesterday urged the NCC to halt the issuance of WiMAX licenses until the Department of Health has completed a health impact evaluation on WiMAX electromagnetic waves.

Tien told a press conference that the issuance should be postponed as the system has met with opposition in Sweden, Germany and in San Francisco.

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua, who was also present at the conference, said the union's survey of the indoor radiation rate at 10 districts in Taipei showed that the city was seriously exposed to electromagnetic waves, with Nangang registering 6,030.9 microwatts per square meter and Shilin 3,666.

Regulations in Austria, however, state that the safe limit is 1 microwatt per square meter, she said.

Chen threatened to stage a hunger strike with people who suffer from electromagnetic waves should the NCC fail to take the public's health into consideration while deciding to issue WiMAX licenses.
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Source: Taipei Times, Shelley Shan - Lisa Wang - Flora Wang, 18 Jul 2007

Activists say tower causes blood cancer
Taiwan Created: 22 Jun 2007
MAKING WAVES: Activists said a rash of cancer cases in Tainan was evidence of the danger posed by cellphone towers and that safety standards were lax .

Environmental activists yesterday alleged that cellphone tower radiation contributed to high incidences of cancer in residents of Tainan's Annan District.

Research presented by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) showed that 20 residents living within a 200m radius of a mobile phone tower in Tainan had been stricken with cancer since 2003, when the base station was erected.

"More than 1,000" residents live within a 200m radius of the tower, TEPU figures showed. Five of the 20 were stricken with leukemia, including three children, it added.

The TEPU team measured radio frequency radiation levels of up to 7000 micro watts per square meter at sites inside the homes of the sick or diseased.

In response, government official said the levels of radiation observed by the team was several orders of magnitude lower than the legal limit of 900,000 micro watts per square meter.

"We have followed the recommendations of the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection in setting our limit," said Wu Sheng-chung deputy director-general of the Environmental Protection Agency's Bureau of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control, at a press conference held jointly by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Yu-ting and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin.

The activists replied that the government's limit was too lenient.

"China has a limit that is almost 10 times more strict at 100,000 micro watts per square meter," said former TEPU chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua, one of the authors of the report.

Wang said that the planned Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) base stations have the potential to cause even more risk to the health of nearby residents.

"This is a brand new technology and we need to make sure that the Taiwanese people do not become lab rats in an experiment," Wang said.

Tai Cheng-jeng, chief specialist in hematology and hematological oncology at Taipei Medical University Hospital said there are roughly "one to two thousand" cases of leukemia in Taiwan every year.

"Divide that by the population and you get a background incidence rate of one in 10 thousand or five thousand," he said.

While it appeared that the incidences of leukemia among those living near the base station reported by the TEPU were abnormally high, this did not necessarily mean that there was a causal relationship between the two, Tai said.
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Source: Taipei Times, Angelica Oung, 22 Jun 2007

Lawmakers urge care with WiMAX
Taiwan Created: 22 Jun 2007
A group of lawmakers from the ruling and opposition camps urged the government yesterday to impose strict controls on the erection of WiMAX base stations, which they said pose a great risk to the health of those living nearby.

Main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Wang Yu-ting and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) counterpart Tien Chiu-chin issued the call at a news conference after government authorities recently revealed a plan to allow for the establishment of WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) base stations.

Wang and Tien asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to review its planned opening of WiMAX base stations and demanded that it not issue licenses for base stations before WiMAX safety has been fully assured.

According to the two legislators, WiMAX base stations will be more powerful than cell phone base stations in transmitting electromagnetic radiation, posing an even greater health threat.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union also suspect that some 20 residents in Tainan City diagnosed with cancer are victims of electromagnetic radiation released by cell phone base stations.

However, officials from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs were reserved about their concerns over the negative health effects of WiMAX.

Wu Ming-chi, an IDB section chief, said that it is "too early" to talk about the dangers of WiMAX, as no WiMAX base stations, whose power transmission efficiency and electromagnetic radiation is lower, have been erected in Taiwan.

According to an EPA official, the government will adjust its regulations on the establishment of WiMAX base stations in compliance with the rules of the World Health Organization, which is expected to release a new report on electromagnetic radiation next year.
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Source: China Post Taiwan section, CNA Taipei, 22 Jun 2007

EPA tests show high levels of electromagnetic waves
Taiwan Created: 24 Jun 2006
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) recently conducted measurements of indoor electromagnetic fields in Taipei for the first time, with results indicating that 20 percent of the locations tested had readings of over 10 milligauss (mG).
High readings have been linked to certain health problems.
"That high?" gasped Li Chung-yi (李中一), an expert in electromagnetic radiation in the department of health at Fu Jen Catholic University, in response to the administration's readings.
Li called on the administration to publicize the high-risk locations as soon as possible so that any inappropriate power distribution in schools and hospitals could be adjusted.
Chen Chiao-hua (陳椒華), director of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU), said that if Taipei, the country's capital, was flooded with excessive electromagnetic radiation in this way, then other cities and counties may pay even less attention to their power distribution infrastructure, making it possible that the danger was even greater outside Taipei.
Chen added that although the WHO had yet to publish a report on the effects of electromagnetic radiation, research on infectious diseases shows that small children regularly exposed to 4mG of electromagnetic radiation had an increased risk of developing leukemia, and that for every 1mG above that level, the risk of developing cancer doubles.
From late March to early last month, the administration took electromagnetic radiation readings in Taipei, the country's most densely populated area, hoping to obtain indoor background radiation measures to use as a reference when amending standards.
The EPA conducted tests in all of the city's 12 administrative districts, measuring electromagnetic levels in two hospitals, two communities, two elementary schools and two kindergartens per district. In total, 16 locations were tested and more than 6,000 measurements were taken in each district.
The study showed that 18 percent of elementary school classrooms, hospitals and homes had levels exceeding 10mG. One percent of kindergartens had readings above 10mG, while 16 percent of power distribution rooms and 34 percent of transformer rooms in communities, schools and hospitals had levels above 10mG. Thirty-two percent of areas near high-voltage wires measured above 10mG.
Four percent of power distribution rooms, 11 percent of transformer rooms, and 3 percent of elementary school classrooms, hospitals, homes and areas near high-voltage lines had readings exceeding 30mG.
The EPA said there was no way to verify at present if electromagnetic radiation was harmful to people's health, and added that it was concerned it might cause unfounded worries among the public.
The EPA was therefore unwilling to release the sampling locations and measurements from its tests, and has no plans to continue sampling in other cities or counties.
By Chung Li-hua
STAFF REPORTER
Thursday, Jun 15, 2006,Page 2

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2006/06/15/2003313639
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Catherine Gamba

Countries such as Taiwan are now taking measures to protect the public from EMF exposures.
Taiwan Created: 7 May 2006
Electromagnetic radiation issues mean large costs for mobile-telecom carriers in Taiwan.
According to TTIDA statistics, about 2,700 of 49,000 existing base stations around Taiwan were under protest and nearly 900 were finally demolished
in 2005.

The operators spent a total of more than (US$30.8 million) in dealing with such issues.
This year, the total cost incurred is likely to rise to (US$61.7 million), the operators estimate.

Taiwan
Yinxuan Wang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DigiTimes.com [Thursday 16 March 2006]
http://www.digitimes.com/telecom/a20060316A9052.html

Eileen O’Connor
Trustee – EM Radiation Research Trust
www.radiationresearch.org
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Eileen O´Connor


VICIOUS WAVES: Groups protest `hazardous' cables
Taiwan Created: 27 Nov 2005
Groups protest `hazardous' cables

VICIOUS WAVES: Environmentalists yesterday urged the government to move high-voltage, `cancer-causing' cables and cellphone masts away from schools and housing

Environmental groups gathered yesterday, urging the government to remove underground high-voltage cables and cellphone base stations that emit large
amounts of electromagnetic waves away from residential areas and schools, saying that these magnetic waves are harmful.
Recent reports of school children displaying symptoms such as dizzy spells, nausea and even cancer are on the rise, the chairman of Taiwan Environmental
Protection Union, Chen Jiau-hua (’²£‰Ø), said yesterday.
Chen said that studies have shown that electromagnetic waves emitted by high-voltage cables cause leukemia, miscarriages and brain tumors.
Chen herself resides in a "radiation house," where underground high-voltage cables emit up to 18.2mG (milligauss) of electromagnetic waves.
People should not be exposed to more than 0.1mG to 0.3mG of these waves for long periods of time or their health will be compromised, according to medical
studies.

Chen was diagnosed with non-malignant tumors last year as well as earlier this year and she said that she was concerned about her safety as well as the health of other residents in her building.

Regulations currently follow those set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which are still much too lax, Chen said.

The regulations state that electromagnetic waves should not exceed 833mG out of doors, a whopping difference from the 0.1mG to 0.3mG amount that a
person can be exposed to.

Taiwan follows the ICNIRP's 833mG outdoors regulation, but because of the population density in big cities like Taipei, more people are exposed to the waves.
Claiming that there is already a global consensus that power voltages higher than 60HZ can cause cancer, Chen said that Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Germany and Tennessee in the US have been working on measures to prevent residential zones and schools from being exposed to the risks of radiation.

She said that in places like California, regulations have been set to minimize the amount of electromagnetic waves in schools and residential areas
to less than 0.1mG.

The union hopes the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Administration will work
together to adjust current regulations, Chen said.

The DOH should issue war-nings on how electromagnetic waves can affect people's health, Chen said, adding that the government should also establish a
radiation-safety management committee to educate the public on radiation safety.

The union has set up a "Non-Ionizing Radiation Disaster Hot-line" at (02) 2369-2442 and will conduct a series of inspections to determine the exact amount
of potentially harmful electromagnetic waves in areas where people's health is purportedly threatened by high-voltage base stations.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: By Jean Lin STAFF REPORTER Saturday, Nov 26, 2005,Page 2

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