Taiwanese operator Chunghwa Telecom has built over 3,000 5G base stations nationwide as of the end of last quarter, the company’s president, Shui Kuo, said during a conference call with investors.
“In the third quarter of 2020, the number of 5G sign-ups grew as we expected and the iPhone 12 models that launched in mid-October are expected to drive 5G service adoption. We are optimistic that we will exceed our annual target for 5G service adoption by the end of this year,” the executive said.
“Combined with the largest 5G spectrum resources on hand and efforts in 5G innovation development, we expect to obtain a significant portion of government subsidies for 5G network construction,” he added.
The executive had previously said that the company expected to reach 4,000 5G base stations across Taiwan by the end of the year.
Shui Kuo also noted that the carrier has partnered with various partners from different industry verticals to develop 5G services for smart manufacturing, smart transportation, smart agriculture, autonomous driving and smart healthcare.
Meanwhile, Vicent Chen, Chunghwa Telecom’s CFO, said that the carrier’s mobile capital expenditures for 2020 will reach TWD9.8 billion ($343 million), of which 75% will be invested in 5G.
Taiwan’s largest mobile carrier said it aimed to attract 300,000 5G subscribers by the end of this year, and reach 1 million 5G users within a year of the technology’s commercial launch.
In the third quarter, Chunghwa reported that revenue increased by 2.6% year-on-year to TWD 52.17 billion, due to weak handset sales, intense competition in mobile services and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third-quarter net income grew 3.2% year-on-year to TWD8.35 billion.
The operator was the first telco in Taiwan to receive a license for 5G services from the National Communications Commission (NCC). Chunghwa Telecom launched commercial 5G services in June of this year based on the non-standalone (NSA) 5G architecture.
Chunghwa Telecom has spent TWD45.67 billion for 90 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band and TWD618 million for 600 megahertz in the 28 GHz band.
The operator had selected Ericsson and Nokia as 5G RAN vendors. Ericsson said that will use the vendor’s Radio System base stations and Ericsson’s 5G core, including its 5G Evolved Packet Core.
Ericsson’s 5G platform includes Ericsson Radio System base stations that will operate on 3.5 GHz for the mid-band and 28 GHz for the high band. The 5G solution will also include active antenna products while supporting beam-forming functions that reduce wireless signal interference and improve 5G speed, the vendor said.
Ericsson added that its spectrum-sharing solution will allow Chunghwa Telecom to make full use of spectrum resources to accelerate 5G network coverage and promote the smooth transition of the network to 5G.
Meanwhile, Nokia said that it had been selected to leverage Chunghwa Telecom’s existing LTE install base and spectrum resources to launch 5G non-standalone (NSA) involving multiple bands, paving the way for the launch of 5G via a standalone architecture in the near future.
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