Asia Pacific Telecom (亞太電信), the nation’s No. 4 telecoms operator, expects to boost its customer base to 3 million by the end of next month on the back of the launch of new value-added services, a company executive said yesterday.
Its customer figures expanded about 550,000 to 2.88 million last year, maintaining its pace of growth over the previous three years of at least 500,000 new users per year, company data showed.
“The number of Asia Pacific customers will total 3 million by the end of April as a result of our new marketing strategy and services,” company chief executive officer Vincent Chih (遲煥國) told a press conference.
Asia Pacific yesterday announced a strategy focussing on increasing its number of smartphone users this year, with two newly launched service systems; its own mobile application store for the Android platform named “A+Mart” and a data value-added system called “A+Zone.”
These will allow Asia Pacific to officially fight for the data value-added service market with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), the three major telecoms operators in Taiwan.
Asia Pacific said it expected its new services to help increase sales on non-voice services to 12 percent to 15 percent of total revenue, up from last year’s 10 percent, Chih said.
The telecoms operator also plans to spend up to NT$5 billion (US$169.9 million) on purchasing more smartphones this year, accounting for 20 percent to 25 percent of its full-year purchase of 1.2 million to 1.3 million handsets, to cater to rising demand from local users, Chih said.
Asia Pacific sold 1.1 million mobile phones last year, with smartphones accounting for only 11 percent, company data shows.
“The company will release not only middle-end and low-end products, but also some reasonably priced high-end smartphones to provide more choice for users,” company chief marketing officer Ted Tsai (蔡福原) said.
Asia Pacific also expects to release three to five tablet PCs this year, possibly cooperating with brands like Samsung Electronics Co and Coolpad, Tsai said.
The telecoms operator is still looking to launch its high-speed EVDO network this year, which has been under review by the National Communications Commission since November, Chih said.
“A successful telecoms operator depends on the convergence of fixed-line, mobile and Internet networks. Launching EVDO could help Asia Pacific reduce costs and reach a higher level,” he said.
With the launch of its EVDO network set for the second half of this year and with continuing cooperation with China Telecom Ltd (中國電信), Asia Pacific expects its revenue to grow at least 12.5 percent this year.
Last year’s earnings of NT$1.08 per share are also expected to be exceeded, Chih said.