Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Sony’s 4G LTE smartphone to arrive next month as users shift from 3G

GLOBAL OPERATIONS:The Japanese handset maker is to launch new LTE-capable smartphones as part of the company’s global market expansion this year

Staff writer, with CNA

Sony Mobile Communications, a mobile unit of Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp, said yesterday that it will launch a new smartphone supporting the long-term evolution (LTE) network for Taiwan’s market next month.

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which ran from Tuesday to Friday last week, the Xperia Z1 Compact is the start of Sony Mobile’s plan to introduce a full range of 4G LTE phones in Taiwan this year, Sony Mobile’s Taiwan branch general manager Jonathan Lin (林志遠) said.

GLOBAL EXPANSION

The company has launched more than 10 LTE phones around the world since 2012, and feels it is now time to bring the product line to Taiwan to capitalize on the country’s 4G operations in the second half of the year, Lin said.

“2014 is the first year for Taiwan’s 4G operations, and Sony Mobile will certainly not be absent from this market,” he said at a media gathering.

‘WELL-BUILT’ PRODUCTS

The Japanese handset maker will also launch LTE phones supporting the 700MHz frequency band for the Taiwan market, including some “well-built” products, Lin said.

In late October last year, Taiwan’s telecom regulator, the National Communications Commission, granted 4G spectrum licenses to six companies: Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大), Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信), subsidiaries of Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) and Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團).

NETWORK SHIFT

The six companies bid a total of NT$118.65 billion (US$3.95 billion), 3.3 times the floor price set by the government, for 270MHz of radio frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums for 4G services.

About 600,000 Taiwanese mobile subscribers are expected to shift from the current 3G network to 4G services this year when providers begin offering 4G services, market research company IDC said.

However, the number of 4G subscribers is projected to soar 13.5 times to 8.1 million people by next year, thanks to the improving quality of 4G services, IDC said in a report.

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