Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s second-biggest telecoms operator, yesterday said it was offering shopping services on handsets in cooperation with the nation’s No. 2 TV shopping channel operator, Fubon Multimedia Technology Co Ltd (富邦媒體科技), as part of its long-term efforts to boost new mobile TV business.
The uptake of third-generation (3G) subscriptions is helping extend virtual shopping from TVs to mobile phones because of sufficient bandwidth and transmission speed, said Jeff Ku (谷元宏), deputy chief operating officer of Taiwan Mobile’s consumer business group. Taiwan’s 3G users have accumulated to 16 million.
“This [shopping on mobile phones] is still quite new for most people. It may take some time for people to take up such shopping service,” Ku said.
Partly helped by the new service, Taiwan Mobile’s mobile TV subscribers may at least double to 20,000 users by the end of the year, Ku said.
The company began offering the service in early January.
Taiwan Mobile and Fubon Multimedia are members of Fubon Group (富邦集團), which also includes Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控).
Fubon Multimedia president Lin Chi-feng (林啟峰) is more optimistic about the new business, riding on the fast-growing trend of virtual shopping markets, including online shopping.
Lin said he expected his company’s sales from shopping via cellphones to grow to NT$100 million a month within one or two years from nothing now.
This year, Fubon Multimedia aims to expand revenues by 50 percent to NT$15 billion from last year’s NT$10 billion, Lin said.
Taiwan Mobile subscribers will be able to access Fubon Multimedia’s shopping channel, MoMo station, by subscribing to the telecoms company’s mobile TV services with a minimal charge of NT$199 a month.
Some 16 TV stations are available for Taiwan Mobile’s users.
In May, the nation’s third-biggest telecoms operator, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), launched its first shopping services, allowing mobile users to shop for a wide range of products online using mobile technologies and to make the payment.