Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Tatung InfoComm to increase network investment


Local WiMAX operator Tatung InfoComm Co (大同電信) said yesterday it planned to increase its investment in network deployment by around 60 percent over the next four to five years to expand coverage and provide bigger bandwidth for users to access the Internet on the next-generation, or 4G, technology.

Tatung InfoComm, which took the lead locally in offering WiMAX services in April, hopes to have 13,000 WiMAX subscribers in Kaohsiung and Penghu by the end of this year.

The company plans to spend between NT$7 billion (US$212 million) and NT$8 billion on network buildup in Kaohsiung in the next four to five years, chairwoman Lin Wen-yen (林郭文艷) said, compared with a NT$5 billion investment in the five-year period she estimated in April.

The company said it was seeking a strategic partner to share future investment, but no significant progress has been made. It declined to comment on speculation that it was in talks with Intel Capital, an investment arm of US chip giant Intel Corp.

Lin said Tatung InfoComm has built around 200 base stations in Kaohsiung, covering 70 percent of the city’s population.

To boost interest in its WiMAX service, Tatung InfoComm plans to sell notebook computers with a built-in WiMAX module from local PC makers, including Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英), Lin said.

The WiMAX service provider now sells mostly data cards for laptop computer users to connect to the Internet at a minimal monthly charge of NT$649. Next year it plans to sell handheld devices with embedded WiMAX module such as mobile phones and mobile Internet device (MID) bundling with its telecom services, Lin said.

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