Telecom operators record drop in New Year’s texts

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Jan 02, 2015 - Page 13

The number of text messages carried by domestic telecom operators on New Year’s Eve fell by as much as 35 percent from a year earlier as more smartphone users used messaging apps and social media instead.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the largest telecom services provider in Taiwan, said that while mobile data services volume on its network soared 280 percent year-on-year late on Wednesday, its SMS volume plummeted 35 percent from a year earlier.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), the third-biggest carrier, said SMS volume dropped by about 10 percent, while smaller rival Taiwan Star Telecom Co (台灣之星) said SMS use dropped 20 percent, while data rose 100 percent. Data from Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大), the second-biggest carrier, was not yet readily available yesterday.

Chunghwa Telecom said that many businesses still sent text messages with New Year’s greetings to customers, but the implementation of 4G cellular service in May has seen more people using apps like Line, WhatsApp and WeChat, as well as social media like Facebook.

The company said that to meet the explosive increase in mobile data demand on New Year’s Eve, it raised its Web connectivity capacity by 80 percent from a year earlier by adding 90 mobile base stations and 87 temporary base stations.

Far EasTone also added 116 mobile base stations nationwide to meet demand, which it said had helped it to deal with the mass messages of well-wishing overnight.

It said mobile data use of 4G services grew more significantly than that of its 3G services.

In related news, Taiwan Star said that its operations had remained smooth, despite a jump in demand at locations such as Taipei City Hall in Xinyi District (信義), Taichung Stadium in Wuci District (梧棲), Greater Kaohsiung’s Dream Mall in Cianjhen District (前鎮) and E-Da World in Dashu District (大樹), where crowds had flocked for countdown parties.