Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信), an arm of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), yesterday said that it has received approval from the regulator to build a fifth-generation (5G) wireless trial network in preparation for a commercial launch in 2020.
Asia Pacific is the first telecom to obtain permission from the National Communications Commission to deploy 5G technology, ahead of bigger rivals, led by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信).
Asia Pacific expects to complete deployment of its 5G trial network in less than the required six months, allowing to it to offer the service by the end of this year.
Trials are to take place in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城) and at the Hsinchu campus of National Chiao Tung University, the company said.
The 5G project was submitted jointly by Asia Pacific and Hon Hai Technology Group (鴻海科技集團), along with National Chiao Tung University, the company said.
While the official standards for 5G have not yet been ratified by the International Telecommunication Union, Asia Pacific said that the trial network would test the technology so it is ready for commercial launch once the standards are confirmed.
The company said that 5G wireless access has the potential to provide high-speed Internet at one gigabyte per second for a wide range of services, such as smart city applications, rivaling glass fiber solutions.
Asia Pacific began offering eight major smart services two years ago, including services through the humanoid robot Pepper, smart transportation, smart retailing and smart home applications, the company said.
Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and robotic services are to be delivered via the 5G network, Asia Pacific said.
At the end of last year, Asia Pacific had increased its 4G subscriptions to 22.5 million, from 18.06 million in 2016, pushing up its 4G penetration to 78 percent.
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