Taipei, May 29 (CNA) Smartphone users who are fed up with slow mobile Internet connections but are then told by telecom carriers that their speeds are acceptable can now take matters into their own hands by joining a mobile speed testing program unveiled Tuesday by the Cabinet's Board of Science and Technology.
Users can log on to the official website of the Telecom Technology Center at http://www.ttc.org.tw/index.html, which has been commissioned to carry out the testing, and submit their mobile phone numbers and telecom carriers to the center to take part in the testing.
Users will also need to download an app developed by the center onto their smartphones to enable the testing to be carried out. The app is only available at present for Android phones.
The move is part of a Cabinet initiative to improve mobile Internet speed around the country as more and more people are using mobile devices.
Mobile Internet accounts totaled 1.7 million in March 2006. The figure had since shot up to 21 million as of the end of March this year, according to statistics provided by the center.
But local telecom carriers have been slow to expand their mobile coverage. In March 2006, the number of 3G mobile base stations totaled 5,566 nationwide but by the end of March this year, however, only 7,539 new 3G base stations had been added.
The center is scheduled to carry out the speed testing program over four years. The pilot program will be carried out in two stages from May to July and from August to November, in major metropolitan areas of the country, and has allocated a total budget of NT$20 million to finance the task.
The results will be used as a reference by the National Communications Commission -- the country's top media watchdog -- to carry out further testing in the future, according to the center.
Users who agree to take part in the speed test will have a chance of winning one of 20 smartphones provided by the center.
(By Lin Mun-ru and Ann Chen)