Industry leaders brief government over 4G LTE

By Ted Chen, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The 2013 Taipei Telecom Show (2013電信暨智慧生活展) began yesterday with industry leaders providing advice to the government on the movement toward the new fourth-generation (4G) or long-term evolution (LTE) mobile network.

In his opening ceremony address at the trade show, Wang Jeng-tang (王振堂), chairman of Acer Inc. (宏碁) and president of the Taipei Computer Association (北市電腦公會), gave two recommendations to the government. Wang first addressed the disparity between Taiwan and China regarding e-commerce, noting that Taiwanese consumers can easily purchase items off of China’s Taobao Marketplace (淘寶網) website, while Chinese consumers do not have access to Taiwanese shopping websites like PCHOME.

Wang indicated that this disparity represents an impending threat to the survival of the e-commerce sector of Taiwan, in addition to an act of encroachment on Taiwan’s economy, and urged the government to address the inequality in cross-strait trade. Citing a publication by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (經建會), Wang said China had created over 100 million jobs in the past decade in the e-commerce sector, and if done correctly Taiwan may hope to replicate China’s success — an outcome that would greatly relieve unemployment by creating a new economic driver.

Wang also endorsed the Time-Division LTE (TD-LTE) mobile network standard, pointing out that it shares many technical attributes with the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) standard, which failed to see proliferation in Taiwan. Wang said previous investments in WiMAX may be repurposed to aid the migration toward TD-LTE. Wang also said the fact that the TD-LTE is primarily an endeavor headed by China should not be made an issue, adding that it is better to utilize previous investments instead of writing them off as sunk costs.

Wang continued that the government should promote collaboration with China on migrating toward TD-LTE.

Vice President Wu Den-yih expressed agreement with Wang’s recommendations.

About the inequality in cross-strait e-commerce, Wu replied that the issue will be included in future ECFA trade talks. In addition, Wu indicated that the Ministry of Economic Affairs is tasked with handling the integration of the TD-LTE and WiMAX network standards.

Far Eastern Group and FETnet Chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) commented that the government needs to step up its contribution to moving toward the next generation of mobile networks, stating that businesses cannot bear the burden alone.