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Taiwan's 4G mobile users reach 300,000

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mobile users adopting the 4G LTE service have reached 300,000 in total since wireless broadband was introduced in Taiwan about two months ago, with Taiwan's major three telecom giants each grabbing a customer base of 100,000.

The country's largest telecom operator, Chunghwa Telecom (CHT, 中華電信), said that as of last week, its customer base utilizing 4G broadband has surpassed 100,000, comprising new account registrations, service upgrades from 3G to 4G as well as phone number portability applications. CHT set the goal to expand its 4G customer base to 600,000 by year-end, amounting to 40 percent of the market share, said the company's Mobile Business Group President Lin Guo-fong (林國豐).

CHT's 4G signal is now available in every township and county, and new users adopting the 4G service are growing by nearly a thousand each day, according to Lin. Data plans priced at NT$1,136, NT$1,336 and NT$1,736 are the most popular, and iPhone users make up about 37 percent of 4G users, Lin said.

CHT announced yesterday a new service, Hami Pass, which allows its 4G users to download the most in-demand and most popular apps on the spot, paying a monthly fee of NT$150 in exchange for a special service package worth NT$5,000, Chunghwa said.

While apps are in great demand, singling out the right app from a pool of options can be quite a hassle. Hami Pass collects a number of useful apps, ranging from media, news, music, games, e-books and finance tools.

Other Telecom Giants Also Gain Foothold

Another telecom giant, Far EasTone Telecom (遠傳電信), indicated that its 4G mobile users have also reached over 100,000. Consumers had this wait-and-see attitude in June, but new adoptions picked up in July, as 4G signal coverage become more widely available during the month. The company's NT$1,399 data plan has been the most popular, and Far EasTone is aiming to extend its 4G customer base to 500,000 by year-end.

Taiwan Mobile's (台灣大哥大) mobile 4G customer base has also exceeded 100,000, and it is also striving for a 500,000-strong customer base by the end of the year, the company said.

Another mobile company, Taiwan Star Cellular (台灣之星), is set to roll out 4G service soon. As such, analysts predict that Taiwan's 4G mobile users will grow to 1.5 million or more by the end of 2014.

With local telecom companies actively expanding infrastructure to expand 4G coverage, more and more locals have stopped looking and opted to sign up for the service, analysts said.

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