Tue, Sep 20, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Far EasTone predicts 5G service launch by 2018

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), the nation’s No. 3 telecom operator, yesterday said the company expects to start offering 5G services on its long-term-evolution (LTE) technology in 2018, ahead of commercial operations in 2020.

Far EasTone made the remarks during an open-house event at its new 5G laboratory, developed in collaboration with telecom equipment supplier Ericsson AB. The telecom company’s 5G lab is the first of its kind in Taiwan.

“The key message we want to send is that 5G is on the way. It is not a pipe dream, but a reality, that is fulfilled step by step,” Far EasTone executive vice president Herman Rao (饒仲華) told reporters.

“We hope to bring some new [5G] technologies or services to our customers as soon as possible. They do not have to wait until 2020,” Rao said.

Far EasTone hopes to offer some 5G pre-commercial services for subscribers during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Sough Korea, Rao said.

Far EasTone yesterday launched a demonstration of its services at its 5G lab in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋). The demonstration indicated that it has achieved data transmission of 1 gigabits per second aggregate speed on the company’s 4G network.

The phone company said the lab would be the test ground for 5G technologies and for end devices enabling the technology.

The tests will pave the way for Far EasTone to offer 5G services soon, Hans Karlsson, head of Ericsson’s research and development team in North East Asia, told reporters yesterday.

The research and development team, based in Beijing, has more than 5,000 engineers.

Far EasTone is the ninth partner of Ericsson’s global 5G partners to launch such a demonstration.

Ericsson collaborates with more than 20 telecom companies, or agencies in standardization and development of 5G technologies. Its partners include Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, South Korea’s ST Telecom and China’s China Academy of Telecommunication Research.

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