Far EasTone vows to become Taiwan's No. 1 cellular-service provider

Dec 30, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Ken, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 30, 2003 (CENS)--Far EasTone Telecom recently vowed to unseat the state-run Chunghwa Telecom as Taiwan's No. 1 cellular-service supplier next year, with projected revenue of more than NT$70 billion (US$2 billion at US$1:NT$34).

The telecom provider made the provocative statement for the first time since it merged with KG Telecom in the second half this year. Far EasTone said it is already the island's No. 2 provider after the merger, exceeding Taiwan Cellular.

In response, Chunghwa's executives said their company will never lose to Far EasTone and will be No. 1 forever. The company projected its cellular-service business at approximately NT$70 billion next year by signing up a total of 8.8 million subscribers. Taiwan Cellular has gone unanswered to the Far EasTone's clamoring.

Far EasTone executives pointed out that the growth of its data service and effect of the combination will be the major forces to help the company shoot the No. 1 position. Currently, the I-mode Internet-connection service offered by KG Telecom and Far EasTone's value-added Internet-accession service have been leading brands of Taiwan's cellular multimedia service.

Far EasTone has pledged to boost its data service to account for more than 10% of its total revenue next year from this year's 10%. The company believes its combination with KG Telecom will definitely make the combined strength bigger than it is.

Chunghwa Telecom executives pointed out that the company's decisive winning elements for next year will be its value-added service and next-generation service. It has asked three handset vendors bundling its subscriber numbers with their handsets to sign up at least 300,000 subscribers to its value-added service next year. In the second quarter next year, Chunghwa will roll out 3G service.
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