New Century InfoComm (NCIC), which trades under the Sparq banner, has announced the launch of a voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony service, in a bid to challenge fixed line incumbent Chunghwa Telecom. The new service could save some customers up to 85% on long-distance calls. Installation of the VoIP gateway is free. NCIC reportedly has around 50,000 fixed line subscriptions, a tiny fraction of Taiwan’s 13 million mainlines.
In a related story, NCIC is conducting research with Taiwan Fixed Network (TFN) and Taiwan Power Company in an attempt to provide internet access via power lines, as part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. NCIC and TFN aim to use the electricity cables to bypass Chunghwa’s last mile network and the related local loop unbundling (LLU) charges so as to challenge the incumbent’s dominance.