Japan’s NTT DoCoMo is reportedly looking to increase its stake in Taiwanese cellco Far EasTone (FET) from 4.9% to 15%. DoCoMo became a shareholder in FET after the operator merged with its rival KG Telecommunications, in which the Japanese company held a stake, in January 2004. Far EasTone’s majority shareholder, the Far Eastern Group, has indicated that it is not willing to reduce its holding and DoCoMo will attempt to up its stake by acquiring shares from minority investors.
Meanwhile, FET has confirmed that it will launch 3G services before the government’s 4 July deadline and says it intends to have UMTS coverage of 60% of the population by the end of the year. FET has set aside TWD4 billion (USD130 million) for the roll out of 1,100 3G base stations this year.