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Taiwan, Indonesia Move Towards Initial 5G Trials

Taiwanese telecom operator Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) has received the approval from local regulators to build a 5G wireless trial network in preparation for a commercial launch in 2020, Taiwanese press reported.

According to the report, Asia Pacific Telecom is the first telecommunications firm to obtain permission from the National Communications Commission to deploy 5G technology. Other telcos in Taiwan include Chunghwa Telecom, FarEasTone, Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star.

Asia Pacific Telecom said it expects to complete the deployment of its 5G trial network in less than six months. The 5G trials will take place in Taipei’s Neihu District, New Taipei City’s Tucheng District and at the Hsinchu campus of National Chiao Tung University, the company said.

Asia Pacific said that the 5G trial network would allow the telco to test the technology so it is ready for commercial launch once the standards are confirmed.

Asia Pacific began offering a number of smart services two years ago, including smart transportation, smart retailing and smart home applications. The telco also said that 5G technology will allow it to offer artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT) services and robotic services.

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%.

In related news, the government of Indonesia confirmed that local operator Telkomsel will deploy 5G trials during the Asian Games which are scheduled to take place in capital Jakarta from 18 August to 2 September 2018.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics (KOMINFO) said that the government will make available spectrum in the 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands for the 5G trials.

The local authorities also confirmed that users will need to buy a new Telkomsel SIM card in order to experience 5G services during the Asian Games in Jakarta.

A total of 31 in Asia-Pacific (APAC) are involved in 5G trials, according to a February report by Viavi Solutions.

Viavi said that of the 31 APAC operators that have announced 5G trials, nine are at the field trial stage and a further 10 have launched lab testing.

The Asian operators involved in field trials are KT, SK Telecom, LG Uplus, China Mobile, China Unicom, NTT DoCoMo, StarHub, SmarTone and Hutchison Telecom.

Meanwhile, Telstra, Optus, M1, SoftBank, Taiwan Mobile, Smart Telecom, Celcom Axiata, Dialog Axiata and Vodafone Sri Lanka are involved in 5G lab testing. – RCR Wireless

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