Asian Tiger telco pledges USD7bn for broadband

8 Jul 2011

The DigiTimes has reported that Taiwanese fixed line incumbent Chunghwa Telecom intends to invest TWD200 billion (USD6.93 billion) in its broadband network over the next ten years. TWD100 billion has been budgeted for the period between 2011 and 2013, with the remainder of the funds set to be invested between 2014 and 2020. The investment is expected to spearhead a drive towards increasing end-user broadband speeds. Chunghwa hopes to offer residential users download speeds of between 100Mbps and 1Gbps by 2015, with speeds of 1Gbps to 10Gbps available to corporate customers. By 2020 Chunghwa aims to offer home users speeds of 10Gbps, with business customers benefiting from speeds of up to 100Gbps. Speaking at a press conference to mark the 15th anniversary of Chunghwa’s privatisation, chairman Lu Shyue-ching commented: ‘The ten-fold growth in data transmission rates is fertile soil that can nurture Taiwan’s industry sector’. He added that 65% of all network equipment will be sourced from local manufacturers.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of 2010 Chunghwa provided ADSL and FTTx services to around 4.36 million retail customers, representing more than 80% of Taiwan’s fixed broadband base. At that time its transmission network consisted of approximately 1.18 million kilometres of fibre-optic cabling in the local loop. As at end-March 2011 Chunghwa had 2.1 million FTTx subscribers, meaning that 48.1% of its broadband customers were connected to fibre (compared to 40.4% in March 2010). The improved figures suggest that Chunghwa’s attempts to encourage FTTx migration are yielding solid results. In the second quarter of 2011 Chunghwa added FTTx transmission speeds of 50Mbps and 100Mbps to its existing fibre-optic product portfolio.

Taiwan, Chunghwa Telecom