First Apple Store planned in Taiwan
Apple plans to open its first Apple Store in Taiwan, a move that comes after the iPhone maker raised $1.38 billion in a bond offering last month, Reuters reported.
The Cupertino-based company has job postings for retail staff on its website.
Grab to expand payment service
Singapore-based Grab (previously named GrabTaxi) will expand its payment system, GrabPay, into a full cash-less digital wallet service that allows users to pay for items outside of its transport service.
GrabPay was launched in January as a payment platform inside its car-hailing app.
According to TechCrunch, Grab initially plans to launch the payment platform in Indonesia before the end of the year. It is partnering with Lippo Group, an Indonesian retail conglomerate that is a Grab investor. Lippo will be its first retail partner and will enable its customers to pay via the Grab app.
StarHub boosts upload speeds to 150Mb/s in trial
Singapore’s second largest operator StarHub said it tripled its theoretical peak upload speed to 150Mb/s using carrier aggregation and 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM).
The operator used Nokia software to combine two blocks of 4G spectrum (1.8 and 2.6GHz) to double the upload speed and 64 QAM to enhance speeds by 1.5 times.
Following the trial, StarHub plans to introduce the technology commercially in the Marina Bay and Orchard areas of Singapore in time for the city state’s year-end celebrations. Nationwide deployment is planned next year.
Carrier aggregation is a technique used in 4G LTE-Advanced standards to allow non-contiguous bands of spectrum to be bonded to create wider channels, resulting in faster 4G speeds.
TOT to trial 2.3GHz band service next month
Thailand’s state-owned TOT plans to trial wireless broadband service on the 2.3GHz band in Bangkok and Ratchaburi starting next month.
Using equipment from Huawei and Nokia, the company said it will provide service via 20 base stations, The Nation reported.
TOT reportedly invited AIS, dtac and True to join the trial, but the three are waiting for a permit from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to use the network equipment for the service, the newspaper said.
TOT received approval last October from the regulator to offer LTE services on its 2.3GHz spectrum until 2025.
SoftBank to launch Pepper in Taiwan this year
SoftBank plans rent out its human-like robot Pepper to banks and retailer Carrefour in Taiwan later this year.
SoftBank aims to rent about 60 robots a month by the first half of next year, Reuters reported. Taiwan will be the first market outside of Japan to roll out Pepper. SoftBank uses the robots in some of its retail shops in Japan.
The robot, however, won’t be offered for sale to consumers in Taiwan.
A year ago SoftBank said it was teaming up with China e-commerce giant Alibaba and contract manufacturer Foxconn to set up a robot venture to sell Pepper globally.