The much-vaunted third-generation (3G) mobile service may take two years to take off in the local market, a handset distributor said yesterday.
"There are still some technical issues to be resolved before 3G can really become popular here," said Suk Chung-tek (
The 3G technology features rich multimedia functions and will allow users to surf the Internet, stream real-time videos, watch movies and send data at high speeds.
In Taiwan, the industry front-runner, Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communications Inc (
Even so, according to Suk, the 3G base stations and image-transfer technicality will still need to be improved before applications can be put into full commercial operation for a larger base of users.
However, in view of the business opportunities presented by the next-generation technology, Well Chain is poised to bring in seven Pantech handsets with 3G capability in the first quarter of next year, he said.
It aims to push Pantech's local market share to five percent by the end of next year, with monthly sales reaching 30,000 units, according to Suk. Pantech currently has a 2 percent market share and sells around 10,000 to 15,000 handsets every month.
To help achieve this goal, a budget of NT$30 million has been earmarked for next year's advertising and promotion activities, he said.
Commenting on the government's decision to open up the market for cheaper made-in-China imported handsets as soon as this month, Suk said the impact is not expected to be significant.
"Local consumers will still prefer prominent brands with superior quality," he said, adding that Chinese manufacturers will need to improve their handset quality and services before their products can earn consumers' support and loyalty.
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