Taiwan’s Far EasTone Telecommunications reaches 300,000 5G subs

Taiwanese mobile operator Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) said that it has reached 300,000 5G subscribers after the telco launched the new technology in July of this year, Taipei Times reported.

The carrier also said that it aims to reach 1 million customers in the 5G segment by the end of next year, according to the report.

The telecom’s 5G network coverage currently reaches 55% of Taiwan’s territory, while 5G coverage in capital Taipei reaches 92%.

The current coverage exceeded FET’s initial goal to cover 50% of Taiwan with the new technology by the end of 2020.

Far EasTone said the aim for next year is to reach a 5G coverage of 90% of the nation.

The carrier expects to deploy another 4,000 5G base stations in 2021, after installing 4,000 this year, Far EasTone president Chee Ching told reporters on the sidelines of the annual IEEE Global Communications Conference in Taipei.

In total, 10,000 5G base stations have been installed in Taiwan, Ching said.

Far EasTone’s 5G network is powered by Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson Cloud Packet Core products and solutions, including Massive MIMO AIR 3239, Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, Uplink Booster and AI-powered 5G management.

The Taiwanese carrier has also deployed Ericsson Radio Dots on the 3.5 GHz band to boost indoor coverage.

FET had previously secured 80 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band and 400 megahertz in the 28 GHz band.

According to previous reports, the operator plans to invest up to NT$30 billion (currently $1.06 billion) in its 5G network deployment over the next three years, as it expects half of its mobile subscribers to migrate to 5G services by 2023.

Taiwan’s five mobile operators acquired 5G spectrum in an auction held in January, after paying a combined NT$138.08 billion.

Rival operator Chunghwa Telecom had launched commercial 5G services on July 1 using equipment from Ericsson. The Swedish vendor has deployed Ericsson Radio System 5G non-standalone technology on the 3.5 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands for Chunghwa Telecom.

Chunghwa Telecom has built over 3,000 5G base stations nationwide as of the end of Q3, the company’s president, Shui Kuo, said during a conference call with investors. It aims to have full coverage in major cities and transportation lines using the 3.5GHz and 2.1GHz bands by end-2020, and nationwide coverage by end-2021 with more than 8,500 sites.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Mobile expects to deploy 4,000 5G base stations by the end of this year, according to previous reports. Taiwan Mobile partnered with Nokia to launch its 5G network. Taiwan Mobile had acquired 60 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band and 200 megahertz of the 28 GHz frequency.

Taiwan Star launched its commercial 5G services in the country in August. The operator said that the coverage of its 5G networks in Taiwan’s major metropolitan areas has reached 50% and will top 80% by the end of this year.

Taiwan Star also said it expect to expand its 5G network coverage to other cities, counties and the suburbs of these major metropolitan areas by 2023.

Asia Pacific Telecom launched commercial 5G services in October via a spectrum sharing agreement with FET.

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