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President targets 10 mil. 4G subscribers by 2016

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) expressed the hope Tuesday that the number of subscribers to Taiwan's fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband services will increase at a faster pace than projected by a government plan for the sector's expansion.

Speaking at a summit on 4G development organized by the Economic Daily News, Ma said the Executive Yuan approved a special project in June that aims to increase 4G coverage to 90 percent by 2017, with 4G service subscribers exceeding 10 million.

"But we hope we can achieve that target a little earlier. It will be better if that target is reached before I leave office," said Ma, whose second and last four-year term ends on May 19, 2016.

Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電信), the largest telecom services provider in Taiwan, was the first to launch a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network on May 29, followed by rival Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. (遠傳電信) on June 3 and Taiwan Mobile Co. (台灣大哥大) the following day.

All three companies launched 4G operations earlier than previously planned, hoping to convince as many 3G users as possible to shift to the new services.

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