Tue, Aug 04, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Mobile aims to increase company clients

PIECE OF THE PIE Local telecoms hope to wrest a bigger share of the market from Chunghwa Telecom to compensate for a drop in household customers

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s No. 2 telecoms operator, aims to increase its enterprise customers by 20 percent this year as budget-sensitive companies look for cost-efficient wireless and broadband Internet options amid the budding economic recovery, a company executive said yesterday.

Local telecoms carriers including Taiwan Mobile hope to steal a bigger share of the enterprise market from market leader Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) to make up for the decline in household customers.

Chunghwa has about 80 percent of the enterprise market, with revenues of about NT$100 billion (US$3.05 billion) a year.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

“Economic turmoil provides a new opportunity for us, with companies starting to look over their budgets in tough times ... Our service can help customers save 30 percent in communications costs,” Taiwan Mobile chief operating officer George Chou (周鐘麒) told a media briefing yesterday.

“Based on orders placed recently, we will grow further in the July to September period in terms of revenue,” Chou said, adding that the yearly target to boost enterprise subscribers was achievable.

Revenue from corporate businesses rose 2.26 percent to NT$2.4 billion in the second quarter from NT$2.26 billion in the first quarter. That represented a drop of about 3 percent year-on-year.

Taiwan Mobile forecast third-quarter revenue to remain near last year’s level at NT$17.57 billion, a 1 percent quarterly rise.

TOP CABLE PROVIDER

Separately, in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Taiwan Mobile denied speculation that it was in talks to acquire the nation’s second-biggest cable TV provider, Kbro Co Ltd (凱擘) — owned by private equity fund Carlyle Group — via a share swap.

The Chinese-language Economic Daily News yesterday said Taiwan Mobile was considering a deal to become the nation’s top cable TV provider, acquiring Kbro and its 1.1 million cable TV subscribers.

Taiwan Mobile has 600,000 cable TV subscribers.

The speculation “is not true,” Taiwan Mobile said.

Taiwan Mobile does hope to negotiate a share-swap deal to introduce a strategic partner, but it has no plans to acquire cable assets, company president Harvey Chang (張孝威) told an investor’s teleconference last week.

Taiwan Mobile planned to cut capital spending this year to NT$6.5 billion from NT$7.4 billion last year. But it said it would boost spending on its cable business to NT$600 million from NT$400 million.

Shares of Taiwan Mobile rose 0.6 percent to NT$50.5 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX index, which lost 0.3 percent.

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