Far EasTone ramped promotions for mobile services ahead of a merger with Asia Pacific Telecom (APT), offering discounted plans and handset subsidies to attract users, Taipei Times reported.

The newspaper wrote new LTE tariffs range from TWD149 ($4.67) to TWD399 a month, with a 5G promotion including a free Samsung handset.

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission conditionally approved the planned merger with APT last month, a move which GSMA Intelligence data showed will swell subscriber numbers to 9.4 million.

Far EasTone ended Q2 with 5.5 million post-paid subscribers, 36.5 per cent of which were on 5G plans.

The operator expects the transaction to close in Q4 and to complete network integration around a month later.

It previously noted the tie-up will enable it to close at least 5,000 base stations, with a final count of about 12,500.

Full-year capex is expected to fall 9 per cent to TWD9 billion.

GSMA Intelligence’s data showed Chunghwa Telecom closed June with 11.8 million subscribers.

Taiwan Mobile is working on a merger with Taiwan Star which would leave the combined business with 10.2 million subscribers, based on data at end-June.

The mergers will reduce the number major mobile players in Taiwan to three.