Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 10 News List

3G stars at telecom show

TAKE A TEST DRIVE New handsets abound at the annual trade show, with at least four major firms poised to roll out various third-generation services

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A man test-dials a phone yesterday at the International Telecommunications and Networking Show at the World Trade Center. Photo: AFP

Taiwan's telecom operators are warming up to launch advanced mobile wireless services as early as year-end by showcasing new handsets at the annual telecom trade show that opened yesterday.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's biggest phone company, is offering visitors a hands-on trial of its third-generation (3G) high-speed service on Nokia Ojy's 7600 model. This and many other innovations are the stars of the 2004 Taipei International Telecommunications and Networking Show at the Taipei World Trade Center.

"With Chunghwa's 3G networking, mobile users can watch good-quality live video content including movies and TV news on this cellphone while they're on the run to offices or classes," said a representative of the state-run Chunghwa Telecom, playing Hollywood star Tom Cruise's new movie "Collateral" as a demonstration.

The dramatically shaped Nokia model is the Finnish vendor's first mobile phone enabling data-oriented 3G service and has been on the market for a while. While the 65,000-color screen may not look perfect when playing movies, it proves that Chunghwa Telecom is ready to offer 3G service, the Chunghwa employee said.

Chunghwa postponed the 3G launch to the end of the year at the earliest from its original schedule of the third quarter because of a lack of killer applications to drive demand for high-speed mobile wireless service.

New market entrant Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信) is seeking to debut its 3G services based on a CDMA2000 system by the end of the year.

In a move to make its possibly earlier debut stand out at the visually stunning telecom fair, Vibo displays dozens of 3G handsets from South Korean Samsung Electronics Inc, including the camera-like Samsung SPH-S2300 phone with a built-in 3.2-megapixel camera and a rarely-seen zoom lens.

"It's a good opportunity for Vibo to jump into the market now, as mobile users will be able to switch operators while maintaining their [phone] numbers early next year," Vibo chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) said yesterday.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) and Taiwan Cellular Corp (台灣大哥大), the nation's two other telecom giants, will offer trade fair visitors a chance to test 3G services such as online auctions, record streaming video and other multimedia functions with the use of new handsets by Motorola Inc and LG Electronics Inc.

Far EasTone also displays two camera phones enabling Japanese phone giant NTT DoCoMo Inc's high-speed mobile service packages, i-mode and FOMA. FOMA features easier access to e-mail, music and video through what it calls its third-generation network.

But both Far EasTone and Taiwan Cellular have yet to announce dates for the debuts of their high-speed wireless services.

The show will run for four days at the first exhibition hall of the Taipei World Trade Center, and will be open from 9am to 6pm. The entrance fee is NT$100.

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