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Eyeing the vast potential of the growing “Beyond 5G” (B5G) market, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy Affairs has announced a subsidy program totaling NT$ 190 million to support five projects designated to assist ten Taiwanese electronics and telecommunications equipment manufacturers to hit into the global satellite market.

The ministry has also been assisting Taiwanese manufacturers with entering the supply chains of leading low Earth orbit (LEO) industry players, such as OneWeb and Kymeta. Currently, Starlink is already sourcing components from Taiwan. 

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Under the banner of B5G, the five projects seek to strength Taiwan’s capability in designing and manufacturing satellite terminal products, especially sub-systems. The first stage of the B5G projects focus on household and automotive applications, before expanding into the satcom market for ships and aircrafts in the medium term. 

The ten companies include Auden Techno Corp., Universal Microwave Technology, Asia Vital Components Co., Elite Material Co., Rapidtek Technologies, Alpha Networks, Taiwan Union Technology Corp., Gold Circuit Electronics. Notably, the up-and-coming startup Tron Future Tech and the world’s largest pure-play GaAs foundry, Win Semiconductors, are also participants. 

To facilitate the domestic industry, the country’s space program coordinator,      National Space Organization (NSPO), sees the eventual need to cultivate system integrators in the private sector. 

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The U.S. company Aerkomm, a service provider of in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions for airline passengers, has also announced its intention to invest between NT$200 million to NT$300 million to build data centers for LEO satellites in Taiwan, and has also filed an application to be a satellite communication service provider – the first U.S. service provider in the country. 

In addition, Anerkomm is also building an R&D center in Taiwan. According to the company, Taiwan has the right talents and supply chain to achieve the best cost efficiency, and it plans to leverage these advantages to bring its self-developed flat-panel antennas to mass production. 

The satellite antenna company Kymeta is also planning to expand partnerships with Taiwanese manufacturers. The Bill Gates-backed company has already cooperated with Taiwan’s InnoLux Corp., a leading manufacturer of thin-film-transistor LCD, in the production of LC Meta-Surface antennas. 

Taiwan is planning to manufacture ten satellites before 2028, spending NT$25 billion in the hope of building its domestic satellite supply chain. By 2025, Taiwan’s first Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite is expected to be launched.

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Reference: UDN