First International Telecom set to halt operations?

19 Dec 2014

With efforts to revive its business said to have stalled, Taiwan’s only Personal Handyphone Service (PHS) provider First International Telecom (Fitel) is reportedly on the verge of halting operation. According to the Taipei Times, in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange the operator was said to have revealed that it does not plan to extend its efforts in revitalising its business, having previously sought court approval to restructure as far back as March 2009. It is understood that the decision to call it quits follows a restructuring meeting held last week in which all parties involved agreed that Fitel was unlikely to meet its objectives. As a result, it was noted that all seven directors on the operator’s board have resigned, along with two independent directors. Further, Deloitte Taiwan’s accountants are also reportedly being discharged.

While PHS was once a popular service in Taiwan, with Fitel’s subscriber base peaking at around 1.5 million in the second half of 2008, advances in technology by rival operator have lured customers away and as at end-September 2014 the National Communications Commission (NCC) reported that there were just 699,568 PHS subscribers remaining in the country.