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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[May 25, 2005]

"Virtual Girlfriends" Now Available in Taiwan Via 3G

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

The Taiwan telecom industry is “making history today,” in the words of Taiwan Mobile company officials, with the initial launch of Taiwan’s first 3G service by Taiwan Mobile.

“Closely supported” by Nokia throughout the long process leading up to this milestone, the initial launch, branded “catch 3! catch your eyes!” (must read better in the original Chinese) will give subscribers their first taste of 3G services.

The full-service implementation of “catch 3!” will later permit subscribers to enjoy a variety of mobile entertainment and video experiences through 3G services.

As Taiwan Mobile’s sole supplier of its WCDMA system, Nokia, reasonably enough, endeavors to promote 3G services together with Taiwan Mobile. During the preparation stage, Nokia not only provided 3G solutions and technologies, but also shared global 3G business experience with Taiwan Mobile, provided handsets customization and facilitated mobile content development.

Harvey Chang, President, Taiwan Mobile called his company “the first in the industry to launch the 3G trial service, ‘catch 3, catch your eyes.’” He thanked Nokia for all their help, and noted that “we will continue to work closely to ensure that the high quality of full commercial service launch will be achieved in the third quarter.”

Nokia company officials said the Finnish giant is “committed to support Taiwan Mobile in introducing more innovative and fun mobile services to Taiwan.”

Yesterday Hong Kong-based Artificial Life, Inc., a provider of mobile technology and applications announced that it has signed a contract with Taiwan Mobile to jointly launch a Chinese language version of the 3G product "V-girl – your virtual girlfriend.”

Taiwan Mobile will also launch the new Artificial Life 3G products "Virtual Disco" and the distinctly less sexy Virtual News Reporter Service. The launch of the 3G products in Taiwan is scheduled for Q3, 2005. Taiwan Mobile will be the first Taiwan operator to launch the Artificial Life 3G product line.

Since 2004, Nokia has been Taiwan Mobile’s sole supplier of a full range of 3G radio and core network equipment. In addition to a complete WCDMA system, Nokia is supplying a range of professional services to support the deployment.

In 2001, Nokia supplied Taiwan Mobile’s complete GPRS system, and under a 2002 agreement supplied a major part of WCDMA for the initial network deployment.

Taiwan Mobile, formerly named TCC Group is Taiwan’s largest private mobile operator, carrying over six million mobile subscribers and three portfolio operators: Taiwan Mobile, TransAsia Telecommunications and Mobitai Communications.

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

To discover how contact centers can save money and increase productivity by making the switch to IP Telephony, be sure to attend TMC's IP Contact Center Summit May 24-26, 2005, in Dallas, Texas. IP Contact Center Summit is co-located with the Speech-World conference, where you can get expert guidance in the deployment of speech technologies to strengthen customer relationships.

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