Tue, Dec 08, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Vibo could turn a profit next year

TURNAROUNDAmid plans to increase its customer base, the 3G service provider said it would spend as much as NT$3 billion next year to upgrade its network

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Third-generation (3G) mobile service provider Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信) said yesterday it hoped to turn a profit in the middle of next year, 10 years after it received a license to operate the 3G service.

Increases in subscribers and revenues per user (ARPU) would be the key factors behind the turnaround, Vibo chief executive Chang Feng-hsiung (張豐雄) told a media briefing.

Vibo, which holds about 7 percent share of Taiwan’s mobile market, hopes to boost revenues by 50 percent to NT$12 billion (US$371.6 million) next year from NT$8 billion this year and to expand its customer base from 1.5 million at the moment to more than 2 million, Chang said.

Last year, Vibo had 800,000 subscribers.

“After expanding our customer base to reach an economy of scale, we now intend to increase our ARPU,” Chang said. “We hope to break even in July next year and could become profitable for the full year next year.”

Vibo losses diminished to NT$2.38 billion for the first half of this year, compared with losses of NT$2.46 billion a year earlier. Revenues more than doubled to NT$3.61 billion from NT$1.67 billion during the same period, the company’s financial statements showed.

As part of its turnaround efforts, Vibo hopes to boost ARPU to NT$600 next year from NT$560 this year through more data services and increasing business customers, Chang said. He did not provide detailed figures about the company’s business clients.

To keep pace with growing demand for wider bandwidth and higher speed, Vibo said it would accelerate its upgrade of base stations to 3.5G and 3.9G, Chang said.

Vibo could spend as much as NT$3 billion on network upgrades next year, from the NT$2.4 billion budgeted for this year.

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