Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd (遠傳電信), the nation’s third-biggest telecoms operator, yesterday launched its fourth-generation (4G) services, after rival Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) unveiled its 4G services over the weekend.
The nation’s second-biggest phone company, Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), is scheduled to make its 4G services available today.
“We have been preparing for the launch of 4G services and we are fully ready to offer the services now,” Far EasTone chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) said. “We are not rushing the launch just because our peer has debuted its 4G services.”
The firm’s 4G network covers 75 percent of the population in the nation’s seven biggest cities and is to expand to cover its 16 most popular sightseeing areas soon.
To boost its 4G coverage, the company plans to expand its number of base stations to 2,400 by the end of this month from 1,600 units, Far EasTone president Yvonne Li (李彬) said at a press briefing.
By the end of next year, Far EasTone aims to boost its nationwide 4G coverage to 90 percent from 50 percent currently, Li said.
The company said it would stick to its original target of securing 400,000 to 500,000 4G users by the end of this year. Far EasTone has 7.3 million mobile users.
Despite potential earnings erosion from investing in 4G network infrastructure, Li said the company would still be able to reach its financial targets set early this year.
The company has projected revenue of NT$92.85 billion (US$3.1 billion) for this year, with pretax profits of NT$13.31 billion.
Far EasTone provides 4G services on its 700 Megahertz (MHz) frequency band and plans to offer them on a 1,800MHz band.
It charges a minimum monthly fee of NT$199 for its 4G service packages, lower than Chunghwa Telecom’s NT$236 a month.
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