The move will significantly modernise Asia-Pacific Telecom (APT)’s network infrastructure, allowing it to dynamically operate between 4G and 5G networks
In September 2020, APT announced that it would be working with Far EasTone (FET) to deliver 5G services to customers, making use of FET’s 3.5 GHz spectrum.
To do this, however, it would require multi-operator core network (MOCN) technology, effectively allowing two or more core networks to share the same RAN and bandwidth. This should convey significant cost savings, both in direct capital expenditure on infrastructure but also as a result of energy consumption.
By January 2021, APT had announced that it had secured a deal with Swedish vendor Ericsson to procure such technology, with the deal including Ericsson upgrading a number of mobile sites with the latest 5G RAN equipment.
Now, the required upgrades have been completed, with Ericsson announcing that Taiwan’s first MOCN-supported non-standalone (NSA) 5G network is ready for service
“In partnership with Asia Pacific, we are reaching today a significant milestone in Taiwan’s 5G development by delivering the first 5G MOCN in an NSA structure. With the launch of the 5G MOCN, we are able to maximize the effectiveness of the existing network infrastructure and significantly increase 5G availability across the island,” said Chafic Nassif, President of Ericsson Taiwan.
5G is booming in Taiwan right now, bolstered by the increasing scope of the operators’ networks as well as the increasing availability of 5G smartphones.
Back in July, industry sources told Digitimes
that they expected the 5G penetration rate in Taiwan to reach almost 30%
by the end of this year.
Chunghwa Telecom, the island’s largest operator, currently has around one million 5G subscribers and expects this total to double by the end of 2021. Rivals FET and Taiwan Mobile both have around 800,000 5G subscribers, with both operators expecting 5G subscriptions to account for over 30% of their overall mobile subscriptions by the end of the year.
APT, meanwhile, was noted as aiming for 400,000 subscribers by the end of the year.
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