Thu, Jan 23, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Nation to spend heavily to develop 5G network

NARROWING WINDOW:Minister Simon Chang said commercial operations may still be 10 years off, which would put Taiwan behind in a sector worth US$300bn

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan will make good use of a window of opportunity by developing 5G mobile networks under a three-year NT$15 billion (US$497 million) budget plan, Minister Without Portfolio Simon Chang (張善政) said yesterday.

The money, which will come from the 4G mobile service license bidding last year, will be used to enhance the nation’s industry competitiveness and that should be done before it is too late, Chang said at a meeting of the Cabinet’s Board of Science and Technology.

Taiwan did not complete licensing 4G mobile services until last year, and commercial operations for 5G services will probably take another 10 years to begin, which would put Taiwan behind the curve, he said.

“We have to start action now, integrating power from academia and the private sector,” Chang said.

The government has been urged by the private sector to establish a task force on 5G development, which would manage and integrate inter-ministerial resources and cooperate with the private sector.

Standards for 5G services are expected to be finalized in between eight and 10 years, and once the standards are ready — by 2020 — the global production value of the 5G sector could reach US$61 billion by 2021, growing to US$300 billion by 2025.

Separately, a new government agency, the National Development Council (NDC), was launched yesterday, by combining several Cabinet-level agencies aimed at streamlining the way major policies are developed.

The newly formed council is charged with the responsibilities formerly belonging to the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission and the Public Construction Commission.

The challenges mean that the NDC will not focus solely on economics, but rather on a wide range of issues that will require flexible consideration of the nation’s overall development.

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