Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Far EasTone turns to MIDs to boost data revenues

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Seeking a new growth engine, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信) aims to boost its data business to make a bigger share of 20 percent by the end of the year by selling more new mobile devices, including mobile-Internet devices (MID) and Android phones, a company executive said yesterday.

The nation’s third-largest telecoms operator said its data revenues grew to make up about 14 percent of its total revenues in the first three months of the year as it offered diverse gadgets from netbooks to game consoles, compared with less than 10 percent two years ago.

Far EasTone hopes that adding more new mobile devices such as MIDs and Android-based cellular phones to its product lineup later this year will help it boost its data business, Far EasTone vice president Samuel Yuan (袁興) said.

The company is also considering selling electronic readers among the different gadgets enabling wireless Internet access on 3.5-generation (3.5G) technology in the future, Yuan said.

Far EasTone increased its 3.5G data card subscriptions to 180,000 users as of last month from 170,000 in May, company tallies showed.

It is now selling a MID from local electronics maker BenQ Corp (明基) that is powered by Intel Corp’s Atom chip at NT$1,890 (US$57.3) per unit, along with a three-year service contract, which entails a minimum monthly bill of NT$775.

Most MIDs are sold by telecom operators, who bundle the units with services in Asia, Europe and US, as telecom companies are more willing to subsidize such devices to increase data revenues, said Michael Chen (陳武宏), director of Intel’s embedded sales and ultra mobility group in Asia Pacific.

Taiwanese electronic makers are the major suppliers of MIDs sold around the world and leading manufacturers include Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), Quanta Computer Inc (廣達) and Inventec Corp (英業達).

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