Taiwan’s telecom market is overcrowded, which might make prices for 5G services the lowest in the world, given the intense competition, Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) said yesterday.
The five 4G operators in Taiwan obtained 5G licenses and bandwidth this year, paving the way for the commercial launch of high-speed, low-latency wireless services in the next few months in Taiwan.
“My feeling is it is too crowded to have five players” in a small market like Taiwan, Taiwan Mobile chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) told reporters following the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Taipei.
Photo: Lisa Wang, Taipei Times
“Taiwan has the world’s lowest fees for 4G services,” Tsai said.
“Taiwan’s 5G fees could likewise be the lowest in the world due to the competition,” he said.
It is difficult to calculate a reasonable monthly fee for 5G services, as Taiwan Mobile might continue to invest in 5G bandwidth, he said.
The 60 megahertz (MHz) that Taiwan Mobile acquired in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) band in this year’s auction would be not enough to deliver full 5G service, he said.
Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) secured 90MHz in the 3.5GHz band, while Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) secured 80MHz.
Taiwan Mobile would need more bandwidth when 5G technology becomes mainstream, along with new equipment and applications, Tsai said.
The government has capped 5G flat rates at NT$1,399 (US$47.18) per month, which is slightly lower than in South Korea, which has a cap equivalent to just over NT$2,000, Tsai said.
“I would prefer [the cap to be] NT$3,399,” he said.
As most local 4G services providers have not recovered network construction costs, it would be a headache for operators to budget heavy expenditure on 5G infrastructure, he said.
“Eventually, the prices would be determined by the market,” he said.
Taiwan Mobile called on the nation’s biggest telecom operator, Chungwa Telecom, to set a model for peers and maintain disciplined pricing.
Asked about over-the-top (OTT) services, Tsai said that Taiwan Mobile has a goal to become the nation’s biggest provider of the media, Tsai said.
Taiwan Mobile offers its OTT services via the Myvideo platform.
It would continue investing in TV dramas and original content with Taiwan Public Television, HBO and Netflix, after Workers and The Victims’ Game became hits soon after their releases, he said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan Mobile shareholders have approved a proposed cash dividend of NT$4.75 per common share.
The company allocated capital surplus to help pay the dividend.
Last year, the company made NT$12.5 billion in net profit, or NT$4.51 per share.
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