Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Far EasTone seeking new M&As to facilitate 5G tech

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter, in Tainan

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) yesterday said it is seeking new merger and acquisition deals this year, targeting Internet of Things (IoT) and financial technology (fintech) companies to facilitate the commercialization of 5G technologies.

The nation’s No. 3 telecom in the beginning of this year outlined a plan to allocate as much as NT$10 billion (US$331 million) to fund mergers and acquisitions (M&As) as IoT application is considered an early adopter of 5G broadband.

“We are looking at [potential deals] in the fintech sector,” Far EasTone president Yvonne Li (李彬) told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference in Tainan. “We might first announce a small amount of strategic investment by the end of the year before heading to coming transactions.”

The company is also considering new M&A deals in the IoT segment, particularly healthcare, Lee said.

The 5G wireless technology is being favored for better connectivity of massive numbers of IoT devices, given its ultra-high-speed data transmission, high data throughput and low latency, the company said in June.

The IoT applications for “smart” cities, “smart” homes and self-driving cars could be the first three applications that utilize 5G technology, the company said.

Far EasTone plans to commercialize 5G services as early as 2019, while expecting that more than 1.5 billion IoT devices will be connected in 2020.

The company yesterday announced a collaboration with the Tainan City Government in deploying IoT applications in six major segments: “smart” cities, healthcare, transportation, education, tourism and agriculture.

The applications are being connected by Far EasTone’s 4G network.

The city said it has spent NT$1 billion on the two-year project, which provides remote education on mobile devices for junior-high and elementary school students, as well as providing an IoT-based water monitoring and irrigation system management for farmers.

The IoT applications also enable 335 healthcare centers in Tainan to transmit measurements of blood pressure and blood sugar levels to local clinics and hospitals for remote health monitoring, the city government said.

By utilizing IoT and big data technology, Tainan has also built a mobile app to provide information and recommendations to tourists about nearby points of interest, from restaurants to retail stores, based on their real-time location.

The app, jointly developed by Far EasTone and the city government, has helped boost local retailers’ revenue by NT$300 million, the city government said.

Far EasTone plans to introduce the IoT-based tourism app in overseas markets, as it has attracted attention outside Taiwan.

“We are looking at two nations in Southeast Asia and Macau to sell the app,” Lee said. “We hope to see progress by the end of the year.”

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