Main­land, Tai­wan firms seek tie-ups

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FOCUS | BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyang­shi­jia@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Com­pa­nies in Tai­wan prov­ince are seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to team up with their coun­ter­parts in the Chi­nese main­land in 4G-plus tech­nolo­gies, es­pe­cially voice over long term evo­lu­tion (LTE), or VoLTE, to find a prof­itable busi­ness model.

The VoLTE tech­nol­ogy al­lows tra­di­tional voice ser­vices to be trans­mit­ted along with other in­ter­net data. Sup­port­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ous voice and data use, it al­lows users to have bet­ter voice calls and high-def­i­ni­tion video calls un­der 4G LTE net­work cov­er­age.

Cliff Lai, gen­eral man­ager at Tai­wan Star Tele­com Corp, a mo­bile net­work op­er­a­tor, said in a re­cent in­ter­view with China Daily that most tele­com car­ri­ers in the prov­ince have launched VoLTE.

But, they still lack the fi­nan­cial mus­cle to back its fur­ther de­vel­op­ment. The cur­rent 4G data pric­ing is low, so po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties like the in­ter­op­er­abil­ity of VoLTE be­tween wire­less car­ri­ers are yet to be har­nessed.

“I re­ally look for­ward to the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween (com­pa­nies in) Tai­wan and the Chi­nese main­land. Work­ing to­gether, we could en­sure that VoLTE calls made on dif­fer­ent car­ri­ers can in­ter­con­nect with one an­other,” Lai said.

“I also hope the two sides can im­ple­ment a unified VoLTE roam­ing stan­dard, which will form a huge mar­ket for the two sides. For Tai­wan, we may then find a bet­ter busi­ness model to profit from VoLTE.”

Ac­cord­ing to the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion, for the first time, over 4 mil­lion trips were made in a sin­gle year from the Chi­nese main­land to Tai­wan in 2015. Main­land visi­tors ac­counted for 40 per­cent of Tai­wan’s to­tal in­bound tourists in 2015, top­ping this group.

Yang Zemin, vice-pres­i­dent

The two sides can im­ple­ment a unified VoLTE roam­ing stan­dard, which will form a huge mar­ket.” Cliff Lai, gen­eral man­ager at Tai­wan Star Tele­com Corp

and sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the China Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Stan­dards As­so­ci­a­tion, is op­ti­mistic that co­op­er­a­tion be­tween com­pa­nies in the main­land and Tai­wan in tele­com tech­nolo­gies and in­dus­trial stan­dards will in­crease.

“Peo­ple in Tai­wan need to com­mu­ni­cate with their rel­a­tives, friends and busi­ness part­ners liv­ing in the Chi­nese main­land. If the tech­no­log­i­cal bar­ri­ers are not re­moved quickly, op­er­a­tors can­not serve their users bet­ter,” Yang said.

“Aim­ing to serve the whole global mar­ket, main­land and Tai­wan com­pa­nies have an open mind on deep­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion in the fu­ture.”

To in­crease the num­ber of their sub­scribers, the three ma­jor tele­com op­er­a­tors in the main­land — China Mo­bile Ltd, China Tele­com Corp Ltd and China United Net­work Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Group Co — are quickly build­ing 4G-plus net­works, es­pe­cially to launch VoLTE ser­vices.

Li Yue, pres­i­dent of China Mo­bile, the world’s largest tele­com car­rier by sub­scribers, re­cently said the com­pany reached over 500 mil­lion 4G sub­scribers and would build 1.4 mil­lion 4G base sta­tions by the end of this year.

Li fur­ther said China Mo­bile will have 30 mil­lion VoLTE sub­scribers in more than 300 cities by the end of this year.

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