Thu, Jul 26, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Mobile to launch Asustek, Sony handsets

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Mobile vice president Jerry Feng, right, Research in Motion marketing manager for the Asia-Pacific region Yeh Shu-jung, left and a model present Sony Ericsson's P1i and Asustek Computer Inc's M530w at a press conference yesterday.

PHOTO: WANG YI-HUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation's third-biggest mobile carrier, said yesterday it would unveil a new Sony Ericsson and an Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) handset in the next quarter to boost subscriptions to the data-centric BlackBerry service.

"We are offering a greater choice of phones other than BlackBerry phones for corporate executives. These will make it easier to input Chinese data, which should greatly boost the use [of the BlackBerry service]," Taiwan Mobile vice president Jerry Feng (馮振武) said.

Feng declined to give forecasts on future growth.

In late December last year, Taiwan Mobile, the only local partner of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, launched two BlackBerry handsets with the aim of lifting average revenue per user amid falling voice traffic.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's top telephone company, chose to collaborate with High Tech Computer Corp (宏達電), the world's biggest maker of phones running on Microsoft Corp's system and introduced custom-made handsets to spur use of its data service.

Approximately seven months after the launch, Taiwan Mobile said that more than 500 companies had signed up for BlackBerry service package, Feng said.

Taiwan Mobile aims to obtain 10,000 subscriptions for its BlackBerry services within 18 months.

"As of June, the uptake [of BlackBerry packages] was in line with our expectations," Feng said.

Research in Motion said sales of BlackBerry phones had risen to more than 9 million units as of May.

Taiwan Mobile presently has 6.1 million subscribers.

Starting in the third quarter, Taiwan Mobile users will be able to access the BlackBerry service on their phones by downloading the BlackBerry Connect software.

In the first six months of the year, Taiwan Mobile posted revenues of NT$31.17 billion (US$950.6 million), up from NT$4.95 billion in the same period last year following its acquisition of fixed-line operator Taiwan Fixed Network Co (台灣固網) earlier this year.

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