Thu, Jun 05, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Taiwan Mobile launches 4G services

NEW NETWORK:While the company’s 4G coverage exceeds 80 percent in major cities, it is expected to hit 90 percent in Greater Tainan and Changhua County next month

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s second-largest telecom company, yesterday launched its fourth-generation (4G) services and set a target of securing at least 500,000 subscribers by the end of this year and grab a 35 percent share of the market.

The company’s move came after Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) launched their 4G services on Thursday last week and Tuesday respectively.

“Taiwan Mobile aims to provide customers with the best quality 4G services in Taiwan,” chairman Richard Tsai (蔡明興) told a press conference.

“Our customers can now experience Taiwan Mobile’s ‘seven-star’ 4G calling and wireless Internet access services,” he said.

Taiwan Mobile yesterday conducted a speed test of its 4G services at the press conference, which showed an average speed of 40 megabits to 50 megabits per second for wireless Internet access — about 8 to 10 times faster than its 3G service.

The company said its 4G services can be better experienced indoors as it provides the service on its 700 megahertz (MHz) frequency band.

Tsai said the company may also offer 4G services on the 1,800MHz frequency band as soon as next quarter, once it reaches a frequency band-swap agreement with Far EasTone.

Since it would take about a month and a half for the National Communications Commission to approve Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone’s frequency band swap deal, which is expected to conclude next month, Taiwan Mobile will not be able to set up new base stations until August for its new 4G services, Tsai said.

In the initial stage, the company plans to establish 1,800 new base stations for 4G services on the 1,800MHz band, Tsai said, adding that networking equipment will be installed first in the Greater Taipei area.

James Cheng (鄭俊卿), chairman of Taiwan Mobile’s multiple service operator unit, said the company’s 4G coverage exceeds 80 percent in the nation’s major metropolitan areas, including Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan County, Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung.

Its coverage in Hsinchu City is also high at 70 percent, and is expected to hit 90 percent in Greater Tainan and Changhua County after it launches its 4G services in the two cities next month, Cheng said.

As for subscription costs, Taiwan Mobile plans to charge a minimum monthly fee of NT$599 for its basic 4G service package that gives users a maximum of 5 gigabytes of data.

Rivals Far EasTone and Chunghwa Telecom offer entry-level packages of NT$199 and NT$236 per month.

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