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Executive Yuan to set aside NT$15 billion for 4G project

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- With the fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband poised to go online in July, the Executive Yuan yesterday outlined its plans to allocate NT$15 billion in related investments to establish Taiwan as a “smart” city.

The Executive Yuan's 4G investment proposal is scheduled to be reviewed at the Ministry of Science and Technology this Thursday.

The NT$15 billion budget is derived from the proceeds of last year's heated operating license auctions among telecom carriers that swelled the treasury by NT$118.65 billion.

The Ministry of Economic Affiars (MOEA) will oversee NT$10 billion of the funds, with plans to build new interactive services to augment three of Taiwan's most popular shopping destinations, the Uni-President Hankyu Department store near the Taipei City Government, Taipei 101 and Kaohsiung's Chichin Island (旗津). According to the ministry, shops and boutiques will be able to send promotional and discount notifications to all shoppers' mobile devices within the perimeter of the three shopping and tourist destinations. In addition, the ministry plans to establish 4G network-based platforms to provide new applications to promote energy savings, provide traffic information and enhance entertainment, security, medical and education services.

Most notably, the MOEA stated that the initiative will also work toward establishing safeguards against excessive electromagnetic waves and will bring network connectivity to Taiwan's more rural areas, while cultivating technological and human resources development on the 5G network of the future.

Taking part in the initiative, the National Palace Museum (故宮) also announced plans to build an online exhibition leveraging the capabilities of the 4G network to showcase priceless historical relics.

The Ministry of Culture stated that it will utilize its share of the funding to establish a 4G-enabled online media distribution platform for music, documentaries, TV programs, documentaries and recordings of concert events.

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