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Taiwan operators taking 5G to the tech sector

Taiwan operators are steadily rolling out 5G private networks to support the island's high-tech manufacturing sector.

In the latest announcement, FarEasTone Tuesday opened the first phase of its 5G smart factory for Delta Electronics, built in partnership with Microsoft.

Delta, which makes power and automation solutions, estimates that in the first phase of the network, output per employee will increase by two-thirds and total output by 75%.

Private networking: Taiwan's telcos are taking their 5G private networks to the island nation's tech industry.  (Source: Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash)
Private networking: Taiwan's telcos are taking their 5G private networks to the island nation's tech industry.
(Source: Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash)

The new plant is equipped with autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and deploys VR, AR and MR for training and visual equipment control, United Daily News reported.

FarEasTone teamed up with Ericsson to build a dedicated 5G network to connect chip vendor MediaTek's three manufacturing sites to speed up device testing and production.

The network, which started service in February, runs on FarEasTone's 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum.

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In one of the most high-profile projects, Chunghwa Telecom and Qualcomm deployed what they say is the world's first 5G mmWave smart factory for ASE Inc. in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, in December.

The facility uses an MEC private network solution developed by Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, including 5G small cells built by Taiwan vendors, and supported by Qualcomm's mmWave solution platform, Chunghwa said.

NYSE-listed ASE provides test and assembly services for chip manufacturers. One initial use case is AI-based autonomous vehicles to carry goods and conduct inspections.

Another is remote maintenance assistance, in which employees can use data analytics collected to monitor the network. When a problem is detected, a worker can use 5G+AR glasses to carry out remote repair with the help of a remote assistant.


Want to know more about private networks? Check out our dedicated private networks content channel here on Light Reading.


Chunghwa is also reportedly in discussions to build private networks with foundry giant TSMC and China Steel Corp.

Chunghwa last week announced an agreement with Super Micro Computer to jointly develop 5G enterprise networks and an open RAN architecture. Silicon Valley-based Super Micro, best known for its servers and storage, is also developing a 5G networking portfolio.

Chunghwa CTO Kuo-Feng Lin said the companies were targeting international markets.

Taiwan's other major operator, Taiwan Mobile, is working with Formosa Plastics Transport, a unit of industry giant Formosa Plastics, Volkswagen and local universities to develop self-driving trucks and cars.

They have built two test vehicles, each installed with Nokia's C-V2X solution, which are now being trialed on a site near Taipei.

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Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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