Tue, Sep 30, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Far EasTone dominates 4G market

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), the nation’s third-biggest telecommunications operator, yesterday said it has garnered a 40 percent share of the local 4G long-term evolution (LTE) market, making it the nation’s largest 4G service provider.

Far EasTone on Friday last week raised their 4G subscriber forecasts by at least 20 percent for this year, as strong demand for Apple Inc’s new iPhones helped accelerate the adoption of 4G services.

Far EasTone now has 400,000 4G subscribers, the company said. That means the company’s 4G penetration grew rapidly to 3.5 percent of its total subscriber number within three months after the rollout, outpacing the average of 2.4 percent for the nation’s top three operators.

In South Korea, which has the world’s highest 4G penetration at 60 percent currently, saw its 4G usage reach 0.7 percent in the first three months after the launch in 2011.

Far EasTone president Yvonne Li (李彬) told reporters that the uptake of the company’s 4G services had exceeded its expectations and the company is likely to raise its 4G subscription forecast again for this year.

Far EasTone had just revised up its projection of 4G users to 600,000 subscribers, from earlier estimate of 400,000.

The company said that the average monthly bill of its 4G subscribers is 6 percent higher than that of 3G users.

Separately, Far EasTone said it is collaborating with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to offer over-the-top (OTT) content service on its LTE network, which forms part of the company’s efforts to expand its broadband services to households.

Far EasTone plans to deliver audio, video and other media over the Internet through the OTT service as a lack of the last-mile Internet connection to households makes it a bottleneck for its Internet service provider (ISP) division to grow its customer base.

Far EasTone said its ISP division currently has 200,000 users.

Far EasTone will continue to invest in sourcing digital content, mostly movies, while Hon Hai will be the major supplier of set-top boxes for Far EasTone, Li said.

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