Fri, Nov 15, 2019 - Page 11 News List

APT shares rally a second day with parent’s funding

TURN IT UP:Hon Hai Precision Industry boosted its stake in APT to more than 40 percent, so the telecom could compete for 5G bands in next month’s auction

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Asia Pacific Telecom Co (APT, 亞太電信) yesterday saw its shares rally by the daily-limit of 10 percent for a second day after securing NT$10 billion (US$326.99 million) in new capital from its parent company, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), to fund its 5G deployment.

Hon Hai and its investment subsidiaries have subscribed to 10 billion common shares of APT at NT$10 each in a private placement.

This would boost Hon Hai’s combined shareholding of APT from 19.7 percent to 40.74 percent.

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), APT’s third-biggest shareholder, did not participate in the rights issue.

Shares of Asia Pacific yesterday closed at NT$7.60 in Taipei trading. They have risen 10.14 percent this year.

With the new funding, APT said it would vie for optimal spectrum bands in the first 5G auction of 2790 megahertz of bandwidth, which is scheduled to be held next month, it said in a statement.

APT and Hon Hai will work together to develop 5G technologies and ecosystems, as well as complete their mobile broadband expansion plan within two years, it said.

Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) on Wednesday told investors that the company was eyeing opportunities in the NT$1.3 trillion 5G market, such as Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications for smart homes, smart manufacturing or healthcare.

APT plans to install base stations that support sub-6-gigahertz and millimeter-wave technologies, the statement said.

The company does not rule out cobuilding and cosharing its spectrum and base stations with peers, it said.

Local telecom operators are required to build either enough base stations to reach 50 percent of the population within five years after securing bandwidth in the 5G spectrum and receiving construction approval, or 1,000 base stations during the five-year period, depending on which band they secure.

Based on Taiwan Mobile’s initial estimate, telecom operators would have to install as many as 4,000 base stations to achieve a 5G penetration rate of 50 percent.

That would require an investment of about US$1.2 billion, based on a base station cost of between US$100,000 and US$200,000 per unit, the company said.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecom operator, has said it would launch 5G services in July next year after winning bandwidth in the 5G spectrum, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on Tuesday.

Its investment in 5G could be higher than the NT$60 billion it poured into 4G deployment, the report said.

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