Taiwan Mobile: A Pioneer of Sustainability and Innovation in Taiwan’s Telecom Industry

The introduction of 5G services in Taiwan in early 2020 has given rise to intense competition between the island’s major telecommunications operators as they seek to offer expansive coverage and a wide range of vertical applications. Among these industry players, Taiwan Mobile (TWM) stands out for its future-forward mindset and its dedication to benefiting all involved stakeholders.

TWM is leveraging its solid network infrastructure to offer high-speed, low-latency, and massive machine-type communication services. Since first rolling out its 5G network two years ago, the company has brought an increasing number of innovative applications to customers, including interactive digital streaming, e-commerce, smart home, and cloud gaming. In addition to its own branded video and audio streaming services, MyVideo and MyMusic, TWM also partners with OTT providers such as Disney+ and Apple Music.

Breaking the mold for telecom operators in Taiwan, TWM in 2020 partnered with Formosa Plastics Transport to produce two autonomous vehicles for use on a three-kilometer track in the Chang Gung Health and Culture Village, a retirement community in Taoyuan.

“Taiwan is expected to reach a 5G penetration rate of nearly 30% by the end of this year,” says Vice President of TWM Regulatory and Carriers Relations Division Naomi Lee. “While this is not low, telecommunication providers worldwide are under immense pressure to continue pursuing the cutting edge in new technologies. Meanwhile, we must also increase the efficiency of our business and networks and work to reduce energy consumption.”

With these goals in mind, TWM has joined the growing global trend of telecom industry mergers, which include T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint in the U.S. in 2020 and the joint venture forged between Singaporean Starhub and M1 that same year. In December 2021, TWM announced the successful negotiation of a merger agreement with Taiwan Star Telecom (T Star). Through this deal, TWM will emerge with a 100MHz block of the 3.5GHz band, the most medium-frequency bandwidth capacity in the industry.

“We believe that this merger will not only benefit our customers, but it will also allow for greater competition in the market,” says Lee, noting that the remaining industry players will begin moving away from competing solely on price and toward offering more diverse and innovative services.

In accordance with its vision and values, TWM also expends significant efforts on implementing and promoting ESG principles and sustainability across the organization. For five consecutive years, the company has been included among the top performers on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World ranking.

In March 2022, TWM formally joined the RE100, a global initiative comprising some of the world’s biggest companies that commits them and their suppliers to using only renewable energy, making it the first telecom operator in Taiwan to do so. To achieve its goal of reaching 100% renewable use by 2040, TWM will both utilize company-owned power plants and purchase renewable energy from outside sources.

Iris Liu, vice president of TWM’s Sustainability & Brand Development Division, says that one of the keys to the company’s successful transformation to sustainability-oriented enterprise was its formation in 2014 of an ESG Steering Committee composed of the heads of TWM’s various business units. This committee helped TWM communicate ESG ideas and their importance to employees, Liu says, and was instrumental in getting the company listed on DSJI World Index.

Liu notes that TWM sets ESG KPIs at every level of the organization, from the Board of Directors down to individual employees. “This indicates that all colleagues at TWM take ESG seriously,” she says. “We even encourage our employees to take on their own ESG projects.” Liu cites the MyAir air pollution tracker and myAngel smartwatch app that helps families keep track of their elderly relatives as examples of such employee-initiated projects.

As for TWM’s forthcoming merger with T Star, Liu says that the deal will also help the company with accomplishing its ESG goals. Following the merger, a 3G network and thousands of redundant 4G base stations will be eliminated, which will save up to 74 million kilowatt-hours in power consumption per year.

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