In response to the countdown to commercial operations of 5G in Taiwan in 2020, Taiwan Mobile showcased "True 5G" equipment in collaboration with Nokia today (25th), before the start of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February this year. The equipment set three firsts in Taiwan by being the first to test 5G base stations in the field at 3.5GHz, which is in the 5G frequency band that supports frequencies up to 100MHz. Virtual Reality 360 and high-tech services such as Augmented Reality (AR), which has changed the pace of industrial transformation with the concept of Industry 4.0, were also on display at the site. Taiwan Mobile is the first telecom carrier in Taiwan to send 5G signals that comply with 3GPP R15 specifications in the field.
Taiwan Mobile began long ago its preparations for a new blue ocean in the 5G era. It first began working with the Industrial Technology Research Institute at the end of 2018 in developing IIoT/AIoT for an unmanned economy, and also implemented the iMEC/VR360 cloud platform project. At the beginning of 2019, it jointly showcased "True 5G" equipment with Nokia in Taiwan for the first time. The first 5G testing device in Taiwan was the size of a smartphone and equipped with Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem, antenna module, and other 5G mobile solutions of Qualcomm, meeting extreme data requirements to achieve the high performance required for immersive extended reality, offering a revolutionary 5G experience to the world.
James Jeng, President of Taiwan Mobile, pointed out that Taiwan will not only need to make a breakthrough in the B2C business model, but also face challenges in the maturity of terminal equipment as it transitions into the 5G era. Therefore, 5G developments should focus “less on assets, more on applications,” and “less on hardware, more on software.” The deployment of 5G comes with a massive price tag for telecom carriers, but Taiwan Mobile will actively play the role of a platform and interface for 5G vertical applications. AI and edge computing, in particular, are both niches of Taiwan's industry, so using cloud development to drive 5G becomes the next reasonable step.
To achieve the commercial operation of 5G, Taiwan Mobile became the first telecom carrier in Taiwan to successfully connect to a third party terminal using base station equipment designed based on 3GPP specifications in a 5G laboratory in collaboration with Nokia last November. The company witnessed a peak rate reaching 1.6Gbps and further plans to build a complete 5G experimental network at Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium before the second quarter this year. The "True 5G" equipment on display today was Nokia's AirScale base station for commercial operation, which complies with 3GPP Release 15; and the first 5G field test was completed at 3.5GHz with a 5G testing terminal provided by a third party in Taiwan. An over-the-air call was used to complete the demonstration of the 5G NSA. Nokia's AirScale massive MIMO active antennas can fully satisfy the mobility requirements, large coverage, high Gbps throughput, and zero delay requirements of 5G.
Stable communication offered by the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G will accelerate the application of AR technology to support precision instruments in industries, collecting data and analyzing images in the factory to provide operations with real-time assistance. This will improve quality and yield and play an important role in the transition to Industry 4.0. The key to extensive application of VR360 Live is to provide enhanced mobile broadband services via 5G mobile Internet, using edge computing for the real-time image processing and composition to deliver 4K or future 8K quality 360 degree panoramic images to user devices. This will meet the requirements of entertainment, audiovisual, sports events, and gaming industries on mobile broadband.