Taiwan Mobile (TM) -, Taiwan
Taiwan Mobile (TM) (formerly named Taiwan Cellular Communications (TCC) Group) is one of Taiwan's largest private mobile operators, having over eight million mobile subscribers and three portfolio operators: Taiwan Mobile, TransAsia Telecommunications and Mobitai Communications.
The company launched Taiwan's first 3G network in May 2005 and is now set to expand the network and introduce High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). It hopes to further enhance its services to subscribers and retain its position as the leading mobile communications provider in the Taiwan market with a 35% share. TM was Taiwan's first non-state owned company to receive a GSM 1800 license. It was also the first private telecommunications company to go public. The company has invested T$10bn (US$311m) in 3G infrastructure since 2004.
3G NETWORK ROLL OUT
Nokia and Taiwan Mobile signed an agreement for Nokia to be supplier of TM 3G network in Taiwan in mid 2002. Deliveries of equipment began in the first quarter of 2003, with Nokia providing both 3G core and radio-access network equipment for the roll-out and introduction of the wide band code division multiple access (WCDMA) network. Nokia has been working with Taiwan Mobile since early 2001, having supplied the operator's whole GPRS network.
The WCDMA 3G network introduced advanced multimedia mobile services, such as multimedia messaging, mobile entertainment, mobile location services, corporate services, and m-commerce. Nokia also provided a range of customised 3G handsets for Taiwan Mobile. The initial service was launched as ‘Catch 3!’
In September 2006 Nokia extended its existing WCDMA 3G network frame agreement with TM to cover the Nokia HSDPA solution and the new Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station. The modular, high capacity Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station will enable TM to make more efficient use of its base station sites, leading to significant site cost savings through reduced site construction work, quick base station installation and decreased power consumption.
Nokia will provide TM with circuit core network expansion, expand the operator's radio network with 3,000 base stations, and upgrade the network software with HSDPA. Nokia will also optimise the network, which will continue to be supported by Nokia NetAct network and service management solution.
TAIWAN MOBILE AND ARTIFICIAL LIFE
Artificial Life Inc contracted with TM in early 2005 to jointly launch a Chinese language version of the highly acclaimed and multiple award winning 3G product ‘V-girl – your virtual girlfriend’. TM also launched the new Artificial Life 3G products ‘Virtual Disco’ and a Virtual News Reporter Service.
The launch of these 3G products occurred in the third quarter of 2005 for an exclusive six month contract. Taiwan Mobile was the first Taiwan operator to launch the Artificial Life 3G product line. Artificial Life was also chosen to be TM’s 3G Strategic Service Partner.
TAIWAN MOBILE 3G NETWORK USES LINUX
In August 2006 TM trialled a Linux operating system as the backbone of its 3G network. While Linux has been used by TM for the past few years because of its stability, its future is less certain with 3G because it is difficult to ensure the ongoing development of Linux applications. 3G mobile systems change things because service providers will depend more on outside vendors to continuously develop and upgrade the software applications that keep users tuned in to 3G services.
Linux is already a proven and workable operating system. But shareware and Linux do not have the resources to carry out the continuous upgrades and improvements. Nokia has however said that it will allow all of its patents to be used in the further development of the Linux kernel. Nokia’s support may help developers to avoid patent conflicts and could provide a boost for companies that offer support and upgrades for Linux applications used with 3G services.