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June 28, 2017

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Chunghwa Telecom enables 4G LTE on iPhone 5

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Apple Inc. rolled out software updates yesterday so that all models of the iPhone 5 can now access the 4G LTE network, but this convenience is limited to Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) customers who have applied for the 4G service.

Yesterday Chunghwa became the first company in Taiwan to enable 4G LTE service for iPhone 5. With the update, users of all models — iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C — will be able to tap into the ultra-broadband Internet service.

The upgrade will require iPhone's iOS 7 operating system or above. Users can make the change through "Settings" on the phone. After the update, the "Chunghwa 16.1" headline will show up on the screen.

Chunghwa claims that its 4G will network will provide for 100 Mbps download speed and 30 Mbps upload speed.

Drastic Speed Difference from 3G Network

Chunghwa held a promotion event in Taoyuan County' Zhongli City yesterday. About a thousand people showed up to apply for free 2G-to-3G upgrade and 3G-to-4G upgrade.

Pressed by the media, Chunghwa's customer service conducted a speed test on-site. It turned out that the download and upload speeds on the 4G network reached 73.52 MB and 28.92 MB per second, respectively. The speeds of 3G network, on the other hand, reached 4.97 MB and 0.39 MB per second. The number shows that 4G network's upload speed is 74 times faster than that of 3G.

The tests were conducted with the same phone model in the same store where hundreds of people were present. The drastic speed difference between 4G and 3G reflected in the test is a testimony of 4G's superior capability, although the number of users on each network might have also contributed to the gap, said customer service representatives.

With its wide prevalence, the 3G network is somehow saturated, said Chunghwa's service representatives. The large number of people on the testing site probably used up much of the 3G signals, therefore lowering its download/upload speed. 4G broadband on the other hand, has few users so far and therefore yields much faster speeds, said service representatives.

With more people expected to adopt the 4G network down the road, the speed difference between the two networks may actually decrease. Nevertheless, "4G is still a lot faster than 3G," said the customer service.

Smartphone Vendors Also Benefited

Vendors of smartphones have also benefited from 4G's popularity. Hundreds of phones were sold in a single day yesterday. With a phone shortage, some people have to wait until Monday to get their hands on a new phone.

According to Chunghwa's customer service, many senior citizens were among applicants for the 4G service, showing that ultra-broadband is not favored only by the young.

Chunghwa said it is actively installing 4G infrastructure in order to enable wider service coverage. The company is also integrating the 4G network with existing 3G and Wi-Fi networks, in an effort to eliminate the coverage gap. Chunghwa said that there is enough coverage to serve 99 percent of the local population.

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