Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密) yesterday said it plans to bid for a local fourth-generation (4G) license, its latest attempt to expand into the service sector.
The latest development came after Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) met Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) on Monday. Far Eastern has a major stake in the nation’s No. 3 telecoms operator, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信).
“We’ve got two types of applications [for the year-end 4G bidding]. One is for bidders who intend to bid [for the license] only and the other for joint bidders,” Hon Hai spokesman Simon Hsing (邢志平) said by telephone. “We are evaluating which approach to take.”
Hon Hai, a major supplier of Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, has been trying to expand its business to service-oriented sectors by leveraging its strength in electronic hardware.
The National Communications Commission plans to auction a total of 135MHz bandwidth for 4G deployment operators by the end of this year. The floor price is set at NT$35.9 billion (US$1.19 billion).
Interested parties are required to submit their applications before Monday’s deadline.
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation’s biggest telecoms operator, submitted its application yesterday. Far EasTone has not yet filed an application, but said last month that it aimed to be the first company to launch commercial 4G services.
Separately, President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), which operates the nation’s largest convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, yesterday said it was teaming up with Hon Hai to tap into Taiwan’s TV market.
Hon Hai will manufacture three models of Internet TV for President Chain, under the brand of the convenience store chain’s cartoon mascot, Open (Open小將).
The products were launched yesterday in 4,860 7-Eleven outlets nationwide, as well as on its online shopping portal 7net, with deliveries expected to take seven to 12 days, President Chain said in a statement.
The company has priced its 40-inch LED TVs at NT$12,888, with the 60-inch and 70-inch versions costing NT$39,900 and NT$69,900 respectively, the statement said.
President Chain said TV sales will be recognized as 7net revenue, with the company expecting online shopping portal sales to increase 20 percent because of the TV products.
Hon Hai now plans to make smartphones and tablets for President Chain, targeting young users, the company said. The new devices could include gadgets powered by Mozilla’s Firefox operating system, Hon Hai said.
Hon Hai shares slid 0.14 percent to NT$70.2, but out-performed the TAIEX, which fell 1.22 percent.