No can do.

On Tuesday, when Mr. Liu from the NCC asked me for my opinion on matters regarding radio amateurs in Taiwan, I gave him my two wishes:

    1 – an English version of the exam, to get more foreigners licensed.
    2 – being able to choose your own call sign.

Both requests were torpedoed right away. First off, when the NCC would make an English version of the exam then they would also have make a Japanese version to accommodate them. And then an Indonesian version. And a …….. well, you get the drift.

Assigning call signs was a more sensitive matter. Even though the R.O.C. on Taiwan has been independent since 1949, it has not been recognised by many. Hence, over here we depend on the generosity of our next door big brother – the P.R.C. of China – to be able to use some prefixes from the ITU assigned block for China (Taiwan uses BM, BN, BO, BQ, BU, BV and BX, China the rest of the B-block). Amateur radio call signs are kept back for 20 years after expiry, so the resulting pool is small. So, unfortunately, once you get your call sign you are stuck with it, because the NCC doesn’t want to hand our new ones at your will. And even though changing areas would be a good reason, they still refuse. I am now living in area 3, but I still have to use my area 2 call because the NCC doesn’t want to assign a new BX3 call to me.

Luckily I am happy with my call. After all, ABT stands for “Any Bloody Thing” and that is how I enjoy the hobby: any bloody thing goes! Have a nice weekend.

Hans "Fong" van den Boogert, BX2ABT, is a regular contributor to and writes from Taiwan. Contact him at [email protected].

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