Tatung InfoComm set to be stripped of WiMAX licence?

17 Jan 2012

Taiwanese WiMAX operator Tatung InfoComm is reportedly under pressure from the National Communications Commission (NCC) to expand its 4G network, in order to meet its pre-existing licence requirements. The DigiTimes claims that Tatung must add ‘at least 600 base stations’ to its operational footprint by July 2013, or run the risk of being stripped of its wireless broadband concession. ‘Industry sources’ interviewed by the news portal indicated that Tatung’s owners are torn between investing the TWD800 million (USD26.3 million) to TWD900 million required to fulfil the struggling operator’s obligations, and quitting the sector entirely.

Following its July 2007 launch, Tatung said that it was aiming for up to one million WiMAX subscribers nationwide within five years. Speaking in March 2010 company president Lin Ton-liang said total subscribers were forecast to hit 70,000 by year-end, but by mid-December 2010 this had been scaled back to 10,000. No actual subscriber figures have since been made available, but TeleGeography estimates that Tatung had a user base of around 60,000 at end-September 2011, equivalent to a meagre 1.1% share of the broadband market.