The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday unveiled the world's first dual-network application services, hoping the innovative application would help Taiwan become a leader in mobile technology. The network also seeks to help communications equipment manufacturers become the nation's third trillion-dollar industry.
"Taiwan is changing its strategy from a follower in the past to a pioneer through integrating new technology and offering new solutions to stimulate new demands," Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said at a press conference yesterday.
Dual-network integration refers to technology that combines cellular networks with wireless local area networks (WLANs), which means that WLAN and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) or the third-generation telecom technology can be integrated into one dual-network mobile phone, allowing users to enjoy online services through both mode which complement each other.
The application can provide users with seamless communications through the combined advantages of both a cellular system's rapid switching, wide coverage and WLAN's fast transmission and lower cost.
Cooperating with over 10 information technology and communication service providers, including Acer Inc, Taiwan Cellular Corp (台灣大哥大), and Microsoft Taiwan, the ministry built a model in Taipei City's Nankang Science Park (南港科學園區) to demonstrate the new technology.
The service, for instance, provides workers in the park with various functions, including access to personal e-mails and instant messages or connection to any printer in the park through wireless transmission. Other services allow parents to view their children in the park's daycare center through a surveillance system. The launch of dual-network technology signals the inauguration of the M-Taiwan (mobile-Taiwan) scheme, Ho said, adding that the government plans to spend NT$7 billion to build seamless communication space across the nation in the next three to five years.
The program is expected to boost wireless Internet users to 8 million people and help the nation enter the world's top five in competitiveness of mobile commercial applications, she said.
It would also help propel the nation's communication equipment manufacturing sector to the trillion NT dollar mark by 2008, Ho said.
Taiwan's semiconductor and flat-panel display industries are already worth trillions of NT dollars a year. The nation's communication equipment makers generated production value of NT$463.9 billion last year, up from NT$311.4 billion in 2003, and are estimated to create NT$550 billion-worth of output this year, according to figures provided by the ministry's Industrial Development Bureau.
Betting on the potential of the dual-network technology, Taiwan Cellular is slated to roll out dual-network service packages with a variety of BenQ or Dopod-labeled mobile phones costing around NT$10,000 after the Lunar New Year holiday, said Lancelot Wang (