Mobile and moving
“With mobile subscription at such a saturation point, our mobile phone operators are all working aggressively to develop data and value-added services, which boost average revenue per unit (ARPU). Mobile Internet, mobile office, mobile banking, mobile information services, ring-tones and music downloads—these are the kinds of offerings for which users are prepared to pay. With such desirables at their fingertips, Taiwan’s 3G user base is expected to number two million by the end of 2006,” he says.
Establishing the infrastructure to support 3G roll-outs—and complying with a Government policy of minimizing the numbers and locations of new base stations—has led to increasing carrier collaboration and infrastructure sharing. “By 2005, we had seen explosive growth in the sector and an island-wide network of some 4000 base stations, with almost no site sharing. Now, to deliver 3G services, each operator will require 1000 to 1200 new sites to optimize coverage,” says Wu. “Each 2G site is being shared by two or three 3G providers and, of course, minimizing costs of additional cabling is a critical factor. RFS is an important supplier of GSM/CDMA diplexers for feeder sharing to these sites—potentially some 18,000 sets throughout Taiwan. In a current trial project with FET, for example, some 120 diplexer sets have already been installed, with more in the pipeline once the trial is complete.”
Wonders of WINS
Not surprisingly in a country characterized by high-rise urban developments sited above largely subterranean rail systems, wireless indoors solutions (WINS) are of particular importance. The first integrated WLAN/GSM services were rolled out by Taiwanese operators during the first quarter of 2005 and were initially available in three cities—Taipei, T’ai-chung and Kao-hsiung. These are to be expanded to a further seven cities by 2008. By then, the government expects to see more than 4 million wireless subscribers in Taiwan using dual-mode handsets that support WLAN and GSM networks.
Again, RFS is stepping up to the plate with wireless in-building and in-tunnel solutions. An in-tunnel solution for Kao-hsiung Rapid Transit Corporation (KRTC) is currently under construction, to provide a 380-400 MHz Terrestrial Trunked Radio system (TETRA) for emergency and safety services. RFS’s solution—based on RADIAFLEX radiating cable— addresses 25 kilometers (15 miles) of tunnel across 37 stations within the city’s central business district. “One of the reasons for RFS selection as a supplier was that our radiating cables achieved endorsement by Taiwan’s National Fire Authority, meeting low-smoke, low-halogen requirements,” explains Wu. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth-quarter of 2007.
In another important in-tunnel TETRA project—this time for Taiwan Rail Authority—RFS last year supplied 162 kilometers (100 miles) of RLVL114 and RLK114 RADIAFLEX radiating cable. Even more ground-breaking is a project underway for Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Tuchen line extension, which will ensure commuters on the 400 trains traveling the tunnels daily will receive GSM/CDMA/UMTS services. This fully engineered WINS solution, founded on RADIAFLEX RLKU158 radiating cable, is consolidating RFS’s reputation in the region for supplying superior WINS solutions.
RFS Taiwan is also participating in tenders, on a project-by-project basis, for indoor WLAN applications in hospitals, airports, universities, shopping centers and key public buildings.