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Government to fund 5G development in Taiwan

Taiwan's government is helping out with the development of 5G

Taiwan's government is helping out with the development of 5G (CNA photo)

Taipei (CNA) - The Taiwan government will allocate NT$20.4 billion (US$648.2 million) over a four-year period for the development of 5G mobile networks to give Taiwan a strategical place in the new age, the Cabinet's Board of Science and Technology said Thursday.

The "Taiwan 5G Action Plan" is designed to create a talent pool of 4,000 5G professionals to help make Taiwan a key player in the global supply chain, officials of the board said at a weekly Cabinet meeting.

According to the board, NT$20.4 billion will be allocated by the government over the period 2019-2022 for the development of the 5G industry in Taiwan, which will have an estimated annual production value of NT$50 billion (US$1.586 billion).

After the briefing by the officials, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said it is imperative that Taiwan seize the opportunity to develop 5G technologies, which are vital to the country's plans to upgrade its social and economic development.

Taiwan's strength in the mobile and information telecommunications and semiconductor industry, coupled with its sound legal and professional training systems, positions it to create added value and horizontal 5G services, he said.

In turn, that will help Taiwan companies gain strategic importance at a time when the United States and China are engaged in a protracted trade war, Su said.

Taiwan's legislation of the Telecommunications Management Act in May also provided a foundation for the development of 5G, he said.

Meanwhile, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has been working on first-phase 5G technology as part of the government efforts to foster more local industries, Su said.

According to the Board of Science and Technology, the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, Britain and Ireland are all going ahead with 5G efforts.

In Taiwan, several telecom service providers and companies in the networking communication and innovative industries have applied to take part in 5G experiments in a concerted move to build a 5G industry chain, the board said.

In a related development, Chunghwa Telecom and HTC Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to jointly promote 5G technologies, commercial transfers and the distribution and sales of smartphones.

Chunghwa Telecom Chairman Sheih Chi-mau (謝繼茂) said the partnership will help solidify the leadership role of his company, while HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) said it will allow her company to better explore 5G technologies and roll out more virtual reality products. (By Flor Wang, Elaine Hou and Chiang Ming-yan)