Taiwan’s big three operators – Taiwan Mobile, Chunghwa and Far EasTone Telecommunications – are moving to cut prices of their 4G plans to fight back against low-cost rival Taiwan Star Telecom, which has just launched 4G services.
Taiwan Star introduced TWD599 ($20) unlimited 4G plans (with two-year contract), roughly half of the price of the other 4G operators, the Taipei Times reported yesterday.
Far EasTone announced it will reduce prices on HTC, Samsung and LG 4G handsets by TWD1,000-1,500. Chunghwa told the local media it plans to cut prices on its 4G packages next week.
The upstart claims to have 4G coverage across 85 per cent of Taiwan and will increase that to 96 per cent by the end of the year. The company, which is an arm of the Ting Hsin International Group, was awarded its 4G licence last October.
Cliff Lai, Taiwan Star president, said he is targeting 20 per cent of Taiwan’s 4G market by the end of the year, or about 250,000 subscribers.
He told Focus Taiwan the company is unlikely to turn a profit in the next two years due to its heavy investment infrastructure and fierce competition from the big three.
Its rivals launched 4G service in May and June and each claims to have about 200,000 subscribers.
According to GSMA Intelligence, Chunghwa has a 33-per cent share of all mobile connections, while Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone each have a 23-per cent share.
Three smaller players – Asia Pacific Telecom, Vibo Telecom and First International Telecom – control the remaining 20 per cent. But none of them have a 4G licence.