Chunghwa Telecom is the latest Taiwanese cellco to offer commercial 3G services, after opening up its W-CDMA network to consumers yesterday. The state-controlled company currently has 3G coverage of the Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung metro areas, and the Hsinchu Industrial Park, and says it hopes to attract 100,000 subscribers to the service by the end of the year. Its network was built by Nokia.
The 3G market in Taiwan is expected to explode, with five cellcos set to be offering services via competing technologies by the end of this year. Earlier this month the country’s number two cellco by subscribers, Far EasTone, launched W-CDMA services, two months after the third largest, Taiwan Mobile began full service trials of its own W-CDMA offering. The country’s smallest operator Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless currently offers a limited 3G CDMA 1xEV-DO service in the Taipei metropolitan area and start-up operator Vibo Telecom is seeking a 1xEV-DO licence whilst simultaneously hurriedly rolling out its W-CDMA network ahead of a proposed December launch.