Chunghwa to follow Asia Pacific into 3G by 3Q

16 Jan 2004

State-owned cellco Chunghwa Telecom plans to trial W-CDMA mobile services in April with a view to launching commercially in the third quarter, senior vice president Chang Feng-hsiung told the Taipai Times yesterday. With Taiwan’s mobile market having reached saturation levels, the country’s operators are pinning their hopes on 3G as a way to boost revenues. Five 3G licences were awarded in February 2002 to the three largest incumbents – Chunghwa, Taiwan Cellular (TCC) and Far EasTone (through its Yuan-Ze Telecom subsidiary) – while the remaining two went to newcomers Taiwan PCS Network and Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless (an affiliate of fixed line operator Eastern Broadband Telecom). All of the licences are based on W-CDMA technology bar that awarded to Asia Pacific Broadband, which launched its 3G service last July using the cdma2000 protocol. Chunghwa, which will become the second Taiwanese cellco to launch commercial 3G services, hopes to entice customers by doubling its current handset subsidies to TWD5,000 and is currently testing both Nokia 7600 and Motorola A835 handsets.