CH@T on Line: Telecom History in Taiwan (Part II)

A hundred year history of telecommunication development in Taiwan: Paving the way from the late Qing Dynasty, through a century of effort, to the borderless of today.

6.    Stepping into Space Communication

Since 1960, as a result of the economic growth escalation, what the citizen gained, was no longer seeing the telephone as a luxury, but rather a necessity of their daily lives; although, in 1953, the Telecomm Bureau executed two terms of a 4-year Telecom development plan, it was still far from satisfying the society needs. Therefore, between 1961 and 1968, two more terms of the 4-year Telecom development plan were once again promoted. This time, however, besides increasing the quantity – that is, the amount of indoor, public, and long distance telephones, the improvement of quality was also the main focus.

The Commemorative Plate For The Open Of The Trans-Horizon Microwave Communication System (For China, Philippine, Taiwan, Hong Kong, And Vietnam) 中菲台港越地平微波系統開放通信紀念盤
1960, L16 x W9 x H1cm
No.4 Automatic Desktop Telephone 4號自動電話桌機
1960, L14 x W18 x H12cm
Wall-Mounting Twin-Slot Public Telephone壁掛型雙錢道公用電話機
1960, L25 x W15 x H37cm


7. Completion of Communication Network in Taiwan

The first good news into the 1970’s was the completion of the microwave system in east side of Taiwan. This marked the completion Taiwan’s telecommunication network. On top of that, the promotion of “Phone in Every Village and Town” plan, and participation in building international submarine cable system, had paved a solid foundation for Taiwan’s telecommunication network.

The global energy crisis and the break-off the US-Taiwan diplomatic relationship had affected Taiwan. However, it did not stop the development of Taiwan’s telecomm industry. The number of phone set had reached first million on May of 1975, and rapidly reached second million on September of 1978.

Crossbar Switch (C400ta-6lpogt) of Crossbar Automatic Telephone Exchange縱橫制交換機縱橫機鍵(C400TA-6LPOGT)
L88 x W10 x H10cm
102A Coin Public Telephone102A型自動投幣式公用電話機
1972, L30 x W17 x H47cm
Public Telephone Copper Plate公用電話代幣
L2.5 x W2.5 x H0.1cm


8.    Age of Ever-changing

1980 was a fast-moving period. The advancement in digital information technology had greatly changed telecomm technology. The service quality and quantity, the value differences, have brought the telecomm industry to a new phase. At that time, mostly government-owned telecomm industry started to experience liberalization, internationalization, and Institutionalization. This wave of revolution spreaded globally. AT&T of US, BT of Britain, NTT of Japan, and DACOM of Korea, all experienced reformation, or converted to private-owned. These all contributed to the change in domestic telecomm industry development.

Telephone Card公用電話通話卡 Sample of Various Cables Used in Asia Pacific Cable Network亞太海纜網路各式截面
1990, L24 x W49 x H34cm


9.    Telecommunications Competition

There are two trends in 1990s telecommunication development, one is individual telecommunication, and the other is the combination of telecommunications and information technologies. However, behind various convenient services with inexpensive fees is the cruel competition. Owing to the pass of the telecommunication law, telecommunication department has divided by The Directorate general of telecommunications and Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. In addition, there are several private overseas telecommunication companies and local Taiwan companies share the market in this industry.

AMPS Mobile Phone AMPS行動電話
1989, L26 x W6 x H39cm


10.    Welcoming the New Century

Our life has been changed largely by the evolvement of telecommunication technology. Nowadays, it is only a basic requirement to have a handset to talk everywhere. The mobile technology and wireless technology has empowered people to be able to receive and send pictures, images, text, and voice anytime anywhere. Big TV (iPTV) offers people diverse choices. It makes watching TV more than a series of passive choices. It gives us a customized fulfillment!

Do you want to know more advanced telecommunication technology? Come and see it yourself!


To view Part I.

Text and images are provided by National Science and Technology Museum