Thu, Mar 02, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa keeps low-cost 4G plan in blow to peers

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s largest telecom, for the second time extended its lowest flat-rate subscription plan for 4G services, dashing its peers’ hopes of an end to a price war.

The telecom yesterday said that its NT$699 plan for unlimited 4G data usage would still be available until March 15. The plan was originally set to expire on Tuesday.

Chunghwa Telecom yesterday also extended the availability of its low-cost 4G subscription plan by two months, until April 4. The plan carries a minimum monthly charge of NT$777 for unlimited Internet connection during the first year of subscription.

The company’s moves came amid persistent calls from local peers to cancel the cut-rate tariffs, with the firms saying that flat rates are cramping profits and the price war has become irrational.

The nation’s top three telecoms launched low-price subscription plans about three years ago in a bid to stimulate the adoption of 4G, but they have struggled to phase them out due to stiff market competition.

To counter pricing competition from Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), the nation’s No. 3 telecom, yesterday said it would resume its cheapest flat rate plan for unlimited 4G data usage today.

Far EasTone charges subscribers NT$698 per month for unlimited 4G Internet access. Far EasTone scrapped the rate as planned on Feb. 22, and unveiled a substitute plan offering unlimited 4G access for a year for NT$798 per month.

“In response to market conditions and to cater to consumers’ needs, Far EasTone is to relaunch the NT$698 rate plan,” Far EasTone said in a statement yesterday.

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s No. 2 telecom, said early last month that it was looking at scrapping its lowest NT$700 per month 4G subscription plan last month, but it has yet to announce its cancelation.

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