Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa Telecom signs letter of intent with PCCW

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Representatives from Chunghwa Telecom and Dopod International celebrate in Taipei as sales of CHT9000 cellphones broke the 10,000 mark. The celebration was held in conjunction with a press conference to launch the Chunghwa Telecom's high-speed downlink packet access service.

PHOTO: WANG YI-HUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the country's biggest telecommunications operator, yesterday confirmed that it had signed a letter of intent with Hong-Kong-based PCCW Ltd (電訊盈科) to source more content for its Internet protocol television (IPTV) subscribers.

The cooperation would help Chunghwa Telecom improve its content and thereby expand its customer base.

"We signed a letter of intent with PCCW, but it will take some time for us to fulfill the agreement," Chung-hwa Telecom chairman Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference in Taipei to launch the company's high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) service.

The HSDPA, also known as 3.5G, offers data transmission speeds up to 10 times faster than current third-generation (3G) service.

Hochen said the two companies agreed to introduce more contents through different means, including setting up a joint venture, or cooperating in channel sourcing to enhance their bargaining power and enlarge their scale.

Chunghwa Telecom has signed up about 100,000 IPTV subscribers since it launched the paid-TV service in 2004 and expects this figure to rise to about 300,000 users by the end of the year. The company offers 33 channels more than 1,600 paid programs.

PCCW, which offers IPTV over its Network of the World (NOW) broadband television infrastructure, has more than 500,000 users and exclusive rights to air HBO, ESPN and other international channels in Hong Kong.

Separately, Hochen also said that Chunghwa Telecom was in talks with Research in Motion (RIM) to launch Blackberry mobile phones in the country, following in the foot-steps of its smaller rival Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大).

Taiwan Mobile, the nation's third-largest mobile carrier, said it plans to offer BlackBerry phones as early as the end of this month, which would make it the first wireless service provider in the country to launch the red-hot mobile device.

"We will make every effort to seek a chance to cooperate with RIM before year's end," he said.

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