Tue, Jul 19, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Far EasTone eyes 7 million users this year

EXCEEDING FORECAST:Far EasTone had hoped for 6.75 million users earlier this year, while looking to expand its HSPA+ and Wi-Fi networks around Taiwan

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Two models yesterday introduce products from Far EasTone Telecommunications during a press conference in Taipei.

Photo: Wang Wen-lin, Taipei Times

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), the nation’s No. 3 telecoms operator, said that it expected its users to grow to 7 million by the end of this year amid its launch of a free-calling package and the continuing expansion of its HSPA+ network capacity.

The telecoms operator yesterday launched its new package for voice services. Users can sign a two-year contract and pay NT$1,173 per month to make calls between Far EasTone subscribers for free and without a time limit, while receiving unlimited data services.

“The new service package may drive up new users and further expand the user base higher than expected, so it could reach 7 million by the end of the year,” Far EasTone executive vice president for marketing and consumer business Benjamin Ho (何永生) told a media briefing.

Earlier this year, the telecoms operator had targeted 6.75 million subscribers by the end of the year.

As of the end of last month, it had 6.5 million subscribers, the company said.

These new subscribers may also create a higher average revenue per usage (ARPU) — an industry profitability measure of how successful an operator is at maximizing the earnings potential of its subscriber base — of NT$1,200 or more for Far Eas-Tone, Ho said.

Ho added that that would be higher than the current ARPU of NT$700 contributed by the telecoms operator’s overall users.

Furthermore, the telecoms operator said it was planning to expand its HSPA+ network capacity to 2,500 base stations, currently at 1,000, by the end of the year, mainly in the nation’s five major urban areas — Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung.

The company expects to eventually build up a total of 6,500 to 7,000 base stations for its HSPA+ network, Ho said.

As for the Wi-Fi network, Far EasTone is looking to expand its hotspots to 25,000 by the end of the year, Ho said.

Ho added that the company was also focusing more on international roaming services for its Wi-Fi network.

“As a member of the Conexus Mobile Alliance, Far EasTone will expand its Wi-Fi roaming service by seeking cooperation with other alliance members,” Ho said.

Currently, Far EasTone has been cooperating with South Korea’s KT Corp and the Philippines’ Smart Communications Inc on Wi-Fi roaming services, Ho added.

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