Fitel’s PHS coverage shrinks as its switches off base stations to reduce costs

22 Apr 2014

Taiwan’s sole Personal Handyphone Service (PHS) provider First International Telecom (Fitel) is said to have grown frustrated with its efforts to turn around its flagging business, Digitimes reports. According to the local news source, in response to its continued troubles, the operator has dismantled several PHS stations with a view to reducing operating costs, but the move has also resulted in a substantial coverage reduction for its services. With Fitel said to be seeking strategic investors, it is claimed that it has failed to attract investment due to the fact that there are seen to be few prospects for developing the PHS standard in Taiwan. Furthermore, with Fitel also offering WiMAX-based services in the north of the country, efforts at unloading these have also reportedly failed to generate interest.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Fitel’s subscriber base has been in decline since mid-2009, and having had around 1.5 million customers on its books as that date, by end-2013 that number had fallen to 725,000, down from 773,533 a year earlier and 816,758 the year before.