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Chinese Mainland and Taiwan to team up in 5G technology research

By Ouyang Shijia in Xiamen | | Updated: 2016-11-07 20:36

The Chinese Mainland and Taiwan plan to work together to promote research and industrial cooperation on the fifth generation (5G) mobile network technology, experts and company executives said on Monday.

Their comments came after the Chinese mainland finished the first phase of 5G research and testing in September that focused on 5G wireless and key technologies. Domestic and overseas enterprises such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, Ericsson AB and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have all played an active part in the process.

Yang Zemin, vice president and secretary general at China Communications Standards Association, said that he has an optimistic view of the opportunity for Taiwan-based firms to participate in the mainland's second phase of experimental work on 5G.

"Both the mainland and Taiwan have open minds for deep cooperation in [the] future, and the two sides can work together to help formulate global 5G standard," Yang said at a cross-straits CEO summit in Xiamen, Fujian province.

Cliff Lai, general manager at Taiwan Star Telecom Corp, a mobile network operator in Taiwan, said that currently most operators in Taiwan have launched the VoLTE service. However, due to the low data pricing, Taiwan-based firms lack a strong driving force for enhancing its development.

VoLTE stands for voice calls provisioned over a 4G LTE data network, rather than the 2G or 3G networks that are commonly used. It is a 4G technology that allows users to have better quality phone calls and high-definition video calls.

"I really look forward to working with the Chinese mainland. By working together, we can seek a better business model to profit from the VoLTE service."

In his point of view, the two sides will probably also work within the semiconductor business, especially the chips.

According to data from the US International Trade Administration, the Chinese mainland is the largest consumer market of semiconductors, accounting for more than half of global consumption in 2015. And Taiwan's semiconductor business is the world's second-largest in terms of output.

"Through the cooperation, Taiwan can fully access the mainland's market and compete with foreign chipmakers, such as the US-based Qualcomm Inc. For the mainland, it can have bigger development opportunities," Lai added.

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