Fri, May 03, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Far EasTone announces Vodafone pact

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), the nation’s No. 3 telecom, yesterday said it has signed a roaming pact with Vodafone Group PLC to offer discounts on roaming services in Europe.

With the latest partnership, Far EasTone sees the number of users under its global roaming coverage increase to 700 million from 350 million, the company said.

The company has provided lower roaming charges by joining one of the region’s biggest alliances, Conexus Mobile Alliance, and by collaborating with AT&T Inc in the US.

“Becoming Vodafone’s sole partner in Taiwan is a milestone for us in expanding our overseas communications operations ... We’ll have more cooperation in the future. We are likely to join Vodafone’s supply chain management system,” company chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) told a media briefing.

If the company joins the supply chain system later this year, Far EasTone would be able to broaden its smartphone and tablet selection, and be able to offer those mobile devices faster and at more affordable prices as it benefits from Vodafone’s strong pricing ability, said Maxwell Cheng (張智衡), a vice president at Far EasTone.

Chang said the cooperation on roaming services with Vodafone would help Far EasTone halve its voice roaming charge in Europe and cut up to 95 percent off its data transmission fees for its subscribers when using the service in Europe.

“We value this collaboration very much and look forward to riding on Far EasTone’s clout in Asian markets to strengthen Vodafone’s foothold in the Asian markets,” Vodafone Partner Market chief executive Ravinder Takker said in a joint statement.

In the first stage, the roaming services will be available in 19 European countries, including Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecom, yesterday said the interests of its subscribers would not be affected by the termination of its roaming agreement with Vodafone. Roaming charges in Europe would remain the same as it has signed agreements with other European telecoms, the company said.

Yesterday, Chunghwa Telecom launched a new global roaming service package or 15 days for subscribers planning to travel around the world. In January, it launched a global roaming service package that lasted for seven days.

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