Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years.
Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said.
Data transmission speeds would be within the range of 500 megabytes per second to 1.5 gigabytes per second, the company said.
Hotspot sharing volume would be limited to 50 gigabytes, it said.
“To some extent, a flat rate is a requirement in Taiwan’s market. However, the tariffs are very, very low, compared with those offered in South Korea or Japan,” Chunghwa Telecom chairman Sheih Chi-mau (謝繼茂) told reporters on the sidelines of the launch event.
South Korea’s KT Corp charges fees equivalent to at least NT$2,040 per month and SK Telecom Co offers a monthly rate of NT$2,400 for unlimited data transmission, according to information provided by Chunghwa Telecom.
Photo: Lisa Wang, Taipei Times
The company expects half of its 10.5 million mobile subscribers to switch to the 5G network within three years, Sheih said.
The company expects to reach 1 million 5G subscribers in the first year of commercial launch, he said.
However, the company said 5G would not be a panacea for a persistent decline in telecom revenue.
Photo: Lisa Wang, Taipei Times
“It will be good enough to see a flat 5G telecom revenue,” Sheih said, responding to a reporter’s question about whether 5G would provide an opportunity for the company to reverse a revenue downtrend.
Chunghwa Telecom plans to double the number of its 5G base stations to 4,000 by the end of this year, compared with 2,000 now, he said.
The number would climb to more than 10,000 by 2022, he added.
The company plans to invest NT$27 billion (US$910.32 million) on its network infrastructure.
Separately yesterday, Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) said that it would launch 5G services today.
It also aims to boost the 5G penetration rate among its subscribers to 50 percent within three years, company president Jamie Lin (林之晨) told reporters at a news conference in Taipei.
During the period, Taiwan Mobile is targeting expanding its 5G network by deploying more than 10,000 base stations to cover 90 percent of the nation’s population, Lin said.
With new 5G services on offer, such as instant playback for sports and virtual reality video streaming, the company expects non-telecom services to contribute NT$100 billion to its revenue over the period.
Taiwan Mobile also plans to offer tailor-made 5G rate plans for mobile game players later this year, Lin said.
Taiwan Mobile’s rate plans are similar to those of Chunghwa Telecom, with additional free high-speed broadband connection.
Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) is to launch its 5G services on Friday.
RESTRUCTURING: Taichung and Taoyuan profited most from local firms moving back high-end manufacturing amid the US-China decoupling of trade ties, the ministry said The government’s “Invest in Taiwan” initiative might this year see NT$627.1 billion (US$21.7 billion) of investment pledges realized, with several firms raising stakes and two dropouts due to customer losses, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Wang made the statement at the monthly meeting of the Third Wednesday Club, a local trade group featuring the top 100 firms of each business sector. Since early last year, the government has launched three programs intended to help local companies grapple with US-China trade rows and the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly through moving production lines back to Taiwan. Thus far, the ministry
JOBS AT RISK? Most Cathay Dragon routes are to be operated by Cathay Pacific or a subsidiary, but it was unclear how Taiwanese workers would be affected Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (國泰航空) yesterday said it is planning new flight services for Taiwan as it announced a corporate restructuring that included the shutdown of its regional subsidiary, Cathay Dragon (國泰港龍), and could lead to job cuts in Taiwan. Cathay Pacific said the shutdown means that the one round-trip service between Taichung and Hong Kong per day and seven round-trip services between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong operated by Cathay Dragon prior to the COVID-19 pandemic would be terminated. “The parent company is planning a new schedule between Taiwan and Hong Kong,” Cathay Pacific assistant manager for corporate communications Moses Hou (侯恩錫)
OVERHEATED MARKET?: The gauge would be designed to provide more reliable information than private-sector data, and help improve policymaking, the council said The National Development Council (NDC) is considering creating a business climate index on Taiwan’s property market, allowing policymakers to better monitor market movements and intervene if necessary, NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said yesterday. Kung made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Economic Committee where lawmakers from across party lines voiced concerns about housing price hikes driven by capital repatriation. Kung said that the council is assessing the possibility of creating an index designed to provide more accountable and transparent information than data provided by private-sector market analysts, and could help improve policymaking. The council would compile a report on
STOCK MARKETS TAIEX closes slightly higher The TAIEX closed slightly higher yesterday as market sentiment remained cautious over the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was again the anchor stabilizing the broader market, preventing the main board from falling into negative territory at the end of the session, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 14.88 points, or 0.12 percent, at 12,877.25, on turnover of NT$167.982 billion (US$5.81 billion). TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.44 percent after fluctuating between NT$451 and NT$456. The semiconductor subindex and the bellwether electronics sector