Fri, Feb 15, 2019 - Page 12 News List

CHT to diversify; prepares for price war

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Telecom Co (CHT, 中華電信) yesterday unveiled plans to overhaul its business over the next three years and said that it stands ready to revisit its pricing strategy in Taiwan’s increasingly saturated telecoms market.

The company last year unexpectedly introduced a NT$499 (US$16.18) monthly subscription offering unlimited 4G mobile data, which triggered a price war among its competitors.

In light of fierce competition over the past year that has sent subscription prices tumbling, the NT$499 plan proves that the market is not skewed by monopolies, CHT chairman David Cheng (鄭優) said at a news conference in Taipei.

While the company still aims to raise its average revenue-per-user performance by differentiating its offering, it is ready to respond if rivals take another step in the price war, Cheng said.

Meanwhile, CHT outlined a three-year transformation plan centered on bolstering its core information technology capabilities and building a 5G network, as well as developing revenue sources in the fledgling Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and smart home appliance markets.

It said it would hire 1,600 employees this year, of which 500 would be tasked with developing emerging technologies, while NT$29 billion in capital expenditure has been set aside to bolster its fiber optic, mobile and cloud computing activities.

Following a tie-up with Netflix Inc, the company would continue to explore content investments to boost its multimedia-on-demand (MOD) business, Cheng said.

The company is also the largest shareholder of Next Bank (將來銀行), a Web-only bank that is still in the planning stages, and is developing three plots of idle land into social housing, employee dormitories, and an office and commercial complex as part of its asset rejuvenation efforts, he said.

CHT land in Taoyuan has been rezoned for industrial use and is to serve as a site for smart logistics development in the city, he added.

Meanwhile, the company said it is in no hurry to unload its stake in China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), whose share price has been rocked by a pilot strike.

“The company is not short on cash, there is no reason to sell low and we are still confident about the airline,” CHT chief financial officer Harrison Kuo (郭水義) said.

CHT’s board of directors in 2017 approved plans to sell 260 million shares, representing 4.86 percent of China Airlines shares outstanding, and it would continue to offload its position, Kuo said.

China Airlines shares yesterday dipped 0.49 percent to NT$10.15

This story has been viewed 1930 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top