Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), Taiwan’s largest telecoms operator by subscribers, has announced that it intends to double the number of Wi-Fi hotspots currently in operation, after witnessing better-than-expected progress in terms of infrastructure construction in 2010. Company spokesman Shih Mu-piao told the Digi-Times: ‘We found out just two days ago that we had exceeded our goal. We are therefore planning to double the figure by the end of this year’. By the end of 2010 CHT had rolled out a total of 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, compared to an expected 6,000. As a result, the operator has targeted a total of 20,000 hotspots by end-2011. In addition, CHT will roll out 1,100 additional 3G base stations during 2011, taking its total to around 9,000. Shih said the company has budgeted its 2011 capital expenditure at TWD5 billion (USD171.2 million), which includes TWD3 billion set aside for the expansion of its 3G infrastructure.
In other news, CHT plans to offer its FTTx fibre customers download speeds of 50Mbps in the second quarter of 2011, with monthly tariffs limited to TWD2,000 (USD68.5). The telco currently offers transmission speeds of 3Mbps (TWD889), 10Mbps (TWD1,100) and 20Mbps (TWD1,389). A 100Mbps FTTx service has also been mooted for the future, although no time frame has been given. CHT, which admits that around 50% of its FTTx subscribers are currently signed up to its 10Mbps package, has set an internal goal of achieving an 80% sign-up rate to its 50Mbps service by 2015-2016. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Chunghwa previously forecast that its FTTx network would cover 80% of Taiwan by 2011. According to statistics supplied by the operator, CHT had 2.02 million FTTx subscribers at end-November 2010.