Taiwan Mobile aims for bigger sales next year

NEXT GENERATION::The nation’s second-biggest telecom company believes the start of 4G services next year will prompt consumers to update their handsets

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Dec 31, 2013 - Page 13

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the nation’s second-largest telecom operator, yesterday said it aims to sell more mobile devices next year and said it would launch fourth-generation mobile telecom services earlier than its rivals.

The company plans to sell 2.3 million mobile devices including smartphones and tablets next year, Taiwan Mobile co-president Cliff Lai (賴弦五) said. That would be an increase of 15 percent from the 2 million units sold this year, as Samsung Electronics Co, HTC Corp (宏達電) and Sony Corp are between them set to launch more than 10 new smartphone models that can be used on the 4G network, Lai said.

Of the 2.3 million units predicted to be sold next year, 1.5 million are expected to be devices that support 4G LTE technologies, he said, adding that Taiwan Mobile plans to sell 1 million 4G smartphone units that can be used in the 700 megahertz (MHz) spectrum.

In late October, Taiwan Mobile acquired the A4 frequency block in the 700MHz spectrum and the C1 frequency block in the 1,800MHz spectrum for a total of NT$29.01 billion (US$967 million) in a government-held auction.

“We will serve our customers by trying to launch 4G services faster than our rivals and will continue releasing a range of smarphones, including those with 4G-compatibility, a dual-core, 5 inch screens and those costing less than NT$5,000,” Lai said.

The company also plans to establish more than 2,500 base stations next year to provide its 4G services and aims to sign up more than 400,000 4G users by the end of next year, he said.

Lai made the remarks as the company released three of its own-brand smartphones priced between NT$3,690 and NT$7,690, and a tablet with a NT$7,990 price tag.

Taiwan Mobile hopes to sell more than 550,000 units of own-brand mobile devices next year, up from 400,000 this year.