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May 27, 2017

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TWM to launch its 4G network by third quarter

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Mobile (TWM, 台灣大) announced that its fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband network will commence commercial operations by the third quarter of this year during the company's earnings conference call yesterday.

Most notably, TWM stated that its board has approved capital expenditures of NT$12.8 billion for this year, an amount lesser than the NT$15.1 billion seen in the previous year. The company explained that its investments in 3G network infrastructure is tapering off at a much more rapid pace than the anticipated increase in expenditure for the upcoming 4G network.

The company yesterday stated that it is not concerned with its competitors' practice of offering aggressively low data plan prices, saying that it intends to excel in the market through stellar service coverage, providing consumers with leading edge network technology. The company, however, declined to comment about rumors of a bandwidth spectrum sharing scheme with Far EasTone (遠傳), and collaborative initiatives with Hon Hai Precision Co., also a new entrant to the 4G pursuit in the telecoms sector.

According to James Cheng (鄭俊卿), who replaced former TWM president Cliff Lai (賴弦五) earlier this month, the company currently holds operating licenses for the 700Mhz and the 1800Mhz bandwidth spectrum, and that the latter would require twice the amount of infrastructure investment than the former. Cheng also stated that the company will aim to open an additional 73 retail locations, bringing the total to 570, to ensure maximum coverage for its subscribers, and harness the anticipated wave of demand for new high-end handsets when the 4G network commences operation.

Q1 Revenues Expected to Reach NT$27.98 billion

The telecoms carrier last year garnered revenues of NT$109.14 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year, yielding after taxes a net income of NT$15.583 billion, down 5 percent year-on-year, with earnings-per-share (EPS) performance rated at NT$5.79. Momo Shop, the company's electronic-commerce portal last year contributed NT$21.28 billion, or 20 percent of overall revenues.

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