Wed, Jul 18, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Telecoms set their sights on expiring 3G contracts

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

With 3G licenses set to expire at the end of this year, local telecoms are offering affordable tariffs and subsidies to encourage 3G subscribers to migrate to 4G services.

As of June 30, the nation’s four telecoms still have a combined 2.43 million 3G users, down from 6.42 million at the end of last year, statistics compiled by the National Communications Commission showed.

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s second-largest operator, had the highest number of 3G users at 943,000, the figures showed.

To retain its subscribers, Taiwan Mobile yesterday said that it is offering a low-cost smartphone with a fingerprint recognition feature from its own-brand series for free to those who upgrade to its 4G service for a minimum monthly fee of NT$399.

Meanwhile, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) is aiming to lure 3G users from its rivals.

Far EasTone is offering a free rice cooker from Xiaomi Corp (小米) if they subscribe to the company’s entry-level 4G services that start as low as NT$199 a month.

The tariff is much lower than the average monthly bill of NT$500 for 3G users, Far EasTone said in a company statement.

The rice cooker retails for NT$2,495, it said.

Earlier this month, Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecom operator, launched a NT$199 service package to encourage 3G users to upgrade to 4G services.

The offer comes with a free Asus ZenFone Live from Asustek Computer Inc (華碩).

To speed up the transition to 4G services, Chunghwa Telecom said it plans to add new models from Sugar and Panasonic to go with lower-priced 4G service packages for 3G users.

Chunghwa Telecom has about 1 million 3G users after 1.8 million of its 3G users switched to its 4G network, it said.

In a separate statement, Chunghwa Telecom on Monday said that the FIFA World Cup added 120,000 subscribers to its multimedia-on-demand (MOD) Internet TV service.

With 1.82 million subscribers now, the company said it is confident it would be able to reach its target of 2 million by the end of this year.

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