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《TAIPEI TIMES》Digital ministry touts satellite signal progress

OneWeb low-Earth orbit satellite terminal equipment on the rooftop terrace of the Ministry of Digital Affairs building in Taipei is pictured on Monday.
Photo: CNA

OneWeb low-Earth orbit satellite terminal equipment on the rooftop terrace of the Ministry of Digital Affairs building in Taipei is pictured on Monday. Photo: CNA

2024/07/11 03:00

By Jake Chung / Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan has line of sight with low-Earth orbit satellites half of the time — a milestone in the nation’s efforts to enhance signal resilience, the Ministry of Digital Affairs said on Monday.

Its goal is to have full-time access to them later this year, the ministry said.

The ministry began the two-year project to enhance signal resilience throughout the nation last year and tested 773 sites domestically and abroad to ensure that Taiwan’s military and political command system would maintain communication capabilities in an emergency.

The project focused on coverage first, then extending the time that Taiwan has satellite signal coverage, Department of Communications and Cyber Resilience Director-General Cheng Ming-tsung (鄭明宗) said.

Taiwan has access to mid-Earth orbit satellite signals from Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES full-time, while low-Earth orbit satellites provide connectivity for short message services, voice messaging, video calls and downloading or streaming of normal-quality videos.

Northern Taiwan has the best Internet efficiency, with an average download speed of 90 megabits per second (Mbps) and an average upload speed of 14Mbps.

In Taiwan, OneWeb signal coverage provided by Eutelsat originates from Japan and Thailand, but it primarily uses services provided by ground-based stations in Guam, Cheng said.

As of last month, Taiwan proper and Kinmen, Lienchiang and Penghu counties and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) were able to access OneWeb networks, Cheng said, adding that there is service 40 minutes out of every hour.

The government plans to test satellite signal technology and its application in disaster relief and prevention on Sept. 21, he said.

The government expects to have more bandwidth to work with once ground-based OneWeb stations in Japan and Thailand begin operating, Cheng said.

The ministry intends to request more funding from the National Science and Technology Council to maintain its satellite equipment, he said, adding that it would start with a one-year program and hopefully work up to a four-year program.

Asked about the possibility of the program allotting some bandwidth to other low-Earth orbit agents, such as Aerkomm and Chunghwa Telecom, a ministry official said that network bandwidth for private use falls under a separate program.

Applicants for that program must have their plans reviewed and approved by the National Communications Commission, the official said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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