While the nation’s three main telecoms are launching 5G service this week, Taiwan is not going to see a large-scale migration from 4G to 5G, given the scarcity of smartphone models that can support the service, National Communications Commission (NCC) officials said yesterday.
Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile launched their 5G services on Tuesday, while Far Eastone Telecommunications (FET) is scheduled to launch its service tomorrow.
Their 5G service plans are about the same as what they offered when 4G hit the market, with some offering unlimited data plans for NT$1,399 per month.
Photo: Wu Po-wei, Taipei Times
The fees are the lowest in the world, compared with other nations where 5G service is available, NCC chief secretary Hsiao Chi-hung (蕭祈宏) said.
Only five smartphones that can support 5G service have been certified by the commission and are available on the market: three Samsung Galaxy X20 series phones, the Sony Xperia 1 II and the LG V60 ThinQ.
More 5G smartphones are expected to hit the market in the second half of this year, Hsiao said, adding that Samsung has four more 5G smartphone models that have been certified by the commission.
Samsung Taiwan announced that its Galaxy A51 and A71 smartphones, which both support 5G service, were certified by the commission yesterday and would hit the market in the second half of this month.
Sharp Taiwan is scheduled to present its Sharp Aquos R5G smartphone today.
The Nikkei Asian Review yesterday reported that Apple is trying to reduce production delays for its first 5G iPhone.
It is facing delays of four weeks to two months for its four 5G iPhone models and had previously postponed their launch until next year, the report said.
A large-scale migration from the 4G to the 5G service would not happen until new 5G iPhones are launched, NCC officials said, adding that the estimation was made based on observations from the launch of 4G services.
Many consumer apps can still be produced and accessed through the 4G system, they said.
“So far, telecoms have mainly targeted corporate customers, which would create apps requiring larger bandwidth,” they said.
The Executive Yuan has designated the frequency band between 4.8 gigahertz and 4.9 gigahertz for private firms to develop a 5G network, which would be opened for applications next year and in 2022, the commission said.
Meanwhile, an online poll by text messaging app Line on whether consumers would be motivated by the launch of 5G service to buy 5G smartphones found that more than 60 percent of respondents said they would not by a new phone to be able to access a 5G service.
About 30 percent said they would consider changing their phones, and 10 percent said they would change their phones to access a 5G service.
Line said about 34,000 of its app users cast votes in the poll.
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