Wed, Dec 07, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa ups spending to cope with smartphones

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s largest telecoms company, yesterday said it aims to increase next year’s budget for improving its network coverage by at least 30 percent to cope with the growing demand for Internet connections because of increased smartphone use.

Chunghwa Telecom plans to invest more than NT$6 billion (US$198.5 million) next year to build more base stations, up from the NT$4.8 billion budgeted for this year.

“Our focus next year is improving the company’s broadband coverage as the growing number of subscribers will limit bandwidth and thereby clog Internet access in busy areas,” company chairman Lu Shyue-ching (呂學錦) told reporters.

The subscribers of the company’s mobile broadband services, called mPro, are expected to increase 60 percent to 1.6 million users, up from about 1 million users presently, Lu said.

Currently, about 45 percent of Chunghwa Telecom’s mobile subscribers use smartphones, an increase from 25 percent last year.

The firm said the pre-order of Apple Inc’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S, hit 210,000 units in just five days, more than doubling the 100,000 pre-order units of the iPhone 4, which was launched in September last year. The iPhone 4S is set to hit the market on Dec. 16.

Chunghwa Telecom’s smartphone users contributed NT$1,289 in average revenue per person, more than double the average third quarter figure of NT$610, according to the company’s financial statement.

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