Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Chunghwa Telecom leads with 4G launch

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

From left to right, Chunghwa Telecom Co president Shih Mu-piao, chairman Rick Tsai and mobile business group president Lin Kuo-feng hold up a cardboard rocket at the company’s launch of its fourth-generation telecom services in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s largest telecom, yesterday launched its fourth-generation (4G) services, one-and-a-half months ahead of its original schedule targeting the middle of July.

That made Chunghwa Telecom the first of six local telecoms set to offer high-speed 4G services. The company said its mobile users would be able to download data or stream video seven times faster than on a 3G network.

Mobile users are to be able to sign up for the service today, with the minimum monthly charge ranging from NT$236 to NT$2,636.

Chunghwa Telecom is targeting having 400,000 4G subscribers at the end of this year, which would be about 40 percent of local 4G users.

The telecom expects more than 50 4G-enabled mobile devices to hit the market next quarter, compared with 30 existing models, including smartphones from HTC Corp (宏達電) and Samsung Electronics Co.

Chunghwa Telecom obtained the most 4G bandwidth — 35 megahertz — in the 4G license auction last year.

This year, Chunghwa Telecom has budgeted for record-high capital expenditures at NT$40.1 billion, primarily on the deployment of its 4G network, up 10.16 percent from NT$36.4 billion last year.

The company expects to boost its 4G coverage to 90 percent of the nation within three years.

Following Chunghwa Telecom’s move, Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) said yesterday that they plan to introduce their 4G services sometime next month.

Chunghwa Telecom shares fell 0.21 percent to close at NT$96.5 yesterday, while Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone shares fell 0.3 percent and 0.15 percent to close at NT$98.8 and NT$68.5 respectively.

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