Wed, Feb 25, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Vibo seeks to capitalize on new low-tariff package

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Third-generation telecom operator Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信) will seek to increase revenue by 66 percent this year, helped by a spike in its subscriber base forecast after a new low-tariff package gained popularity amid the economic slowdown, a company executive said yesterday.

The projected revenue growth was in stark contrast to a conservative outlook provided by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s top wireless carrier, which said holding steady revenue this year would be an uphill battle after the economic downturn began taking a toll on phone usage in the last quarter of last year.

Vibo is seeking to expand its revenues to NT$10 billion (US$287.4 million) this year from NT$6 billion last year, chief executive Chang Feng-hsiung (張豐雄) told a press conference yesterday.

“It will not be a challenge for us as long as we are adding new customers every day,” Chang said.

A growing number of local mobile users, especially college students, have been seeking telecom services at bargain prices amid the economic crisis, which is reflected in the popularity of a new low-price package launched late last year, Chang said.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Vibo introduced a new service allowing users to make free voice calls to other Vibo users for a monthly fee of as little as NT$300.

By the end of this year, Vibo hopes to expand its customer base to 1.5 million users from 850,000 last year, Chang said.

With rapid growth in subscribers and revenues, Vibo has a good chance of recording its first profit next year, Chang said.

Vibo lost NT$5 billion last year and hopes losses this year will be down to about NT$3 billion, he said.

Regarding the company’s capital spending, Chang said Vibo would remain flexible to match the nation’s economic situation. It could cap spending at about NT$2.4 billion this year, Chang said.

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