The nation’s telecoms suffered a NT$4.14 billion (US$135.55 million) drop in revenue in the first quarter of this year, a National Communications Commission (NCC) report said yesterday.
Revenue earned by the telecoms totaled NT$45.32 billion, a decline of about 8 percent from NT$49.46 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, the report said.
Revenue from data transmission services dropped from NT$25.23 billion in the fourth quarter to NT$24.49 billion in the first quarter, it said.
Voice communication service revenue slid about 8 percent to NT$16.64 billion, while short message service revenue was flat from the fourth quarter, it added.
Other revenues decreased from NT$5.55 billion in the fourth quarter to NT$3.66 billion in the first quarter, the report said.
The report also revealed other significant results.
Telecom service users totaled 28.63 million in the first quarter, a drop of about 18,000 from that in the fourth quarter, it said.
The number of 4G subscribers rose by about 956,000 in the first quarter, while 3G service users fell by about 974,000 and prepaid card users totaled about 5.87 million, which was the same as in the fourth quarter, it added.
The average revenue per user for 4G subscribers in the first quarter dropped by NT$66.7 to NT$576.3 and fell by NT$21.6 to NT$318.7 for 3G users, the report said.
Telecoms saw a continued decline in voice communication service usage, with voice communication talk time in the first quarter decreasing by 300 million minutes to 3.87 billion minutes across 3G and 4G networks, it said.
By contrast, data transmission volume in the first quarter rose 30.6 petabytes to about 1.05 exabytes, it added.
Revenue has declined continuously since the first quarter of last year: from NT$50.94 billion to NT$50.47 billion in the second quarter, NT$50.33 billion in the third quarter, NT$49.46 billion in the fourth quarter and NT$45.32 billion in the first quarter of this year, commission spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
“If telecoms only offer unlimited mobile Internet plans at a flat rate and do not offer new value-added services, they will not be able to generate enough revenue to sustain their operations,” Wong said.
“That would affect their investment in the development of 5G technology,” which would enable ultra-reliable low-latency communication, as well as facilitate the development of Internet of Things applications and enhanced mobile broadband, he said.
The development of all three advances would be unlikely to materialize if telecoms continue to operate under their current business model, he added.
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