Taiwan preparing to discuss 5G development

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) Taiwan will start discussions later this year on the development of industries relating to fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies, the Cabinet said Wednesday. Premier Jiang Yi-huah said at a Cabinet meeting that Taiwan must begin early planning for the development of such industries since they will be a driving force behind innovation and economic growth in the country. A clear and detailed plan is needed as the development of the 5G technologies involves issues such as human resources, the assignment of a frequency spectrum, and policies in several areas, Jiang said. To this end, a conference will be held at the end of the year to discuss the development of industries relating to 5G technologies, the Cabinet said. Jiang made the remarks after listening to a report that suggested Taiwan seize the opportunity to reinvent its industries, in light of the fact that 5G technologies are still in the nascent stage. Minister without Portfolio Simon Chang said it is important to start 5G research and development, noting that a standard for the new technology is expected to be formulated around 2020. Countries around the world began migrating from 3G to 4G services a few years ago, and Taiwan initiated the process of auctioning off 4G mobile service licenses earlier this year. Seven companies are bidding for licenses, and the government is expected to announce the winning bids by the end of this year. A 4G network can offer peak data rates of 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for high mobility, and 1 gigabit per second for low mobility, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the U.N. agency that defines industry standards. In comparison, the current 3G network can be expected to provide a minimum speed of only 2Mbit/s for stationary or walking users, and 348 kilobits per second in moving vehicles, according to the ITU website. (By Hsieh Chia-chen and Kay Liu)