Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecom, on Monday said that it is to cooperate with Verizon Media to develop 5G immersive content and tap into the “gig economy.”
Verizon Media is the media and online businesses division of Verizon Communications Inc.
The two companies are to jointly develop 5G immersive content such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) videos, Chunghwa Telecom executive vice president Lin Kuo-feng (林國豐) said.
They also plan to create virtual YouTubers (vtubers) and related content, with the aim of exploring new revenue sources, he said.
“We found that Hoodie (虎妮), a vtuber created by Verizon Media’s Yahoo TV, is having a great impact [on users]. We want to bring that kind of immersive content and experience to our customers,” Lin said.
Unlike many other companies, Chunghwa Telecom expects consumer-oriented services — high-quality video, AR and VR applications, and smart home applications — to be the first 5G growth driver, rather than applications designated for enterprises, Lin said.
It would be time-consuming for telecoms to develop applications catering to the special needs of specific industries, he said.
“In the initial stage, consumers will be the early adopters of 5G services. The development of 5G in South Korea is the proof,” Lin said.
Since the commercial launch of 5G in April, about 3 million South Koreans have signed up for the services, he said.
In the long term, 5G technology would bring a revolutionary shift for most industries and create more value for enterprise clients, he added.
Commenting about the company’s 5G pricing strategy, Lin said the company would “be very careful about its pricing policy,” given the cutthroat competition in Taiwan and heavy investment in 5G.
The company would look to implement a 5G tariff that is affordable for consumers, but high enough for the company to recover its costs, he said.
However, it would be unlikely that Taiwanese companies would follow their South Korean peers and set flat rates of about NT$2,000 (US$65.37) a month, which would be too costly for consumers, he said.
Verizon Media is the latest participant in the Taiwan 5G Alliance (台灣5G產業聯盟), which was cofounded by Chunghwa Telecom in January last year.
The alliance has grown to include more than 50 members, including 5G chip designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) and communications equipment supplier Sercomm Corp (中磊).
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