Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), the nation’s No. 3 telecoms operator, is collaborating with China Mobile Ltd (中國移動) to provide lower-priced tariffs for voice roaming services in China, targeting Taiwanese businesspeople, a company executive said yesterday.
This marked the first cooperation between the two companies, 13 months after Far EasTone’s board approved a proposal to sell a 12 percent stake to China Mobile and form a strategic partnership with the Chinese carrier in several areas including roaming, value-added services and technology exchange.
However, no progress has been made since April last year as Chinese companies are barred from investing in major telecoms companies in Taiwan, the executive said.
“This is the beginning,” Daniel Chang (張嘉祥), executive vice president of New Century InfoComm Tech Co Ltd (NCIC, 新世紀資通), a fixed-line subsidiary of Far EasTone, told a media briefing.
“We will continue to collaborate in different areas that are allowed [by the Taiwanese government]. They include providing applications on S Mart [an outlet similar to Apple Inc’s App Store launched by Far EasTone] and mobile applications such as long-distance surveillance systems [to China Mobile],” Chang said.
US soft drink company Coca-Cola Co is using NCIC’s long-distance surveillance solutions to replenish canned drinks sold from vending machines, Chang said.
By signing up for the new voice roaming service, Far EasTone subscribers will save more than 70 percent in voice bills when they travel to major cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in Jiangsu, Guangdong and Fujian provinces.
“The service covers about 70 percent to 80 percent of areas where Taiwanese businesspeople work,” NCIC president Jeffey Gee (紀竹律) said. “And we plan to gradually expand the coverage.”
Subscribers will pay a minimum monthly fee of NT$99, allowing them to make voice calls within China by paying NT$1.99 per minute, 73 percent lower than the NT$7.51 per minute charged by bigger rivals Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), to Far EasTone said.
Subscribers are not required to sign a service contract. As of March, Far EasTone had 6.34 million mobile users.
Shares of Far EasTone inched up 0.4 percent to NT$37.90 yesterday, underperforming the bourse, which rebounded 1.14 percent.
Dutch brewing company Heineken NV yesterday said that it has reached an agreement to acquire a subsidiary brewery of Taiwan’s Sanyo Whisbih Group (三洋維士比集團). Heineken is to assume majority ownership and management rights of the Long Chuan Zuan Co (龍泉鑽興業) brewery in Pingtung County’s Neipu Township (內埔), the Dutch company said. It would become the first multinational brewing company to operate brewery in Taiwan once the acquisition is completed. The deal has been approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission, but details of the financial transaction cannot be disclosed at this time, as terms of the settlement have not been completed,
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