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CHT 4G market share expected to get big boost from 2015: chairman

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chunghwa Telecom Chairman Lee Yen-sung (李炎松) revealed that the firm's fourth-generation (4G) market share will grow rapidly starting from 2015, looking to include 1 million new subscribers each year.

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT,中華電信) is set to launch its 4G service in the third quarter of 2014 and aims for 300,000 4G subscribers by the end of 2014, Lee told local media recently. He went on to say that CHT aims for an annual addition of 1 million 4G users from 2015.

Telecommunications service quality is directly related to network coverage ranges. Lee said that 2-3 years from now will be the peak years for 4G mobile infrastructure deployment and the firms plans to extend its 4G coverage to 90 percent of the population of Taiwan. According to local media, CHT will pledge NT$40 billion for 4G infrastructure deployment.

When asked whether Hon Hai Precision Industry (鴻海精密) is more foe than friend for CHT, Lee told local media that whether friend or foe, a large part of CHT and Hon Hai Precision's businesses are complementary.

The National Communications Commission (NCC), Taiwan's telecommunication watchdog, auctioned 12 domestic 4G licenses to six companies. Hon Hai Precision, which is still working with CHT on a Multimedia on Demand (MOD) service contract, won two licenses as it seeks to diversify beyond its traditional contract manufacturing business.

Lee revealed that Hon Hai Precision Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), following in the steps of other new entrants into the telecommunications service market, expressed a need to lease CHT's fixed lines.

20,000 Branded TV Sets Sold Through CHT's MOD service

Regarding CHT's collaboration with Hon Hai Precision over the MOD service, Chairman Lee said that CHT and Hon Hai Precision's collaboration is focused on upscale high-definition (HD) TVs bundled with MOD services, adding that continued collaboration with Hon Hai Precision depends on product suitability of both sides.

Lee indicated that CHT touts 20,000 branded TV sets equipped with its MOD service channels. According to Lee, other LCD & LED TV suppliers of CHT include AOC, BenQ, CMO (奇美), Sampo (聲寶), Tatung (大同) and Heran (禾聯).

The market strategy of bundling HDTV with MOD services has not only brought in a lot of new subscribers, but also effectively boosted average revenue per user (ARPU) and CHT's MOD ratings for 2013, said Lee. He added that the well-received market strategy is expected to persist in 2014.

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