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Far EasTone tops '14 capital expenditure growth in nation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Far EasTone Communications Co.'s (FET) said it will up its 2014 capital expenditure by 23.81 percent, the largest increase in the industry, to NT$1.05 billion in order to step up 4G mobile infrastructure deployment.

FET (遠傳電信) General Manager Yvonne Li (李彬) yesterday said in an investors conference that FET has fully used its 2013 capital expenditure of NT$1.05 billion.

She said that the number of FET's ending customers hit a registered 7.217 million by the end of 2013, an annual growth of 4 percent, while data service subscribers jumped 30.8 percent to 3.111 million.

Concurrently, FET's mobile equipment revenue has represented 94 percent of its total sales in the fourth quarter of 2013, while data service made up 40 percent of FET's mobile service revenue in the same period.

60 percent of FET's postpaid customers have smartphones while 47 percent of the same use mobile internet service, showing strong growth potential in data service area, according to Yvonne Li.

FET also announced its unaudited results for January 2014. Far EasTone's consolidated total revenue was NT$ 8.312 billion. The consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and net income were NT$2.131 billion and NT$969 million, respectively. The unaudited earnings per share (EPS) stands at NT$0.3.

FET posted NT$89.671 billion in 2013 consolidated revenues, a sequential increase of 3.4 percent. 2013 EBITDA and net income were NT$ 25.599 billion and NT$ 11.771 billion, registering annual increase of 5.1 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Taiwan Mobile Cuts Capital Expenditures for 2014

Taiwan Mobile Co's (台灣大哥大) capital will be lower this year than last year, as the second-largest telecommunications company in Taiwan aims to maintain in a stable profitability.

Taiwan Mobile earlier said its board had approved capital expenditure of NT$12.8 billion for 2014, a 15.23 percent decline from 2013. Last year Taiwan Mobile allotted NT$15.1 billion for capital expenditure.

Taiwan Mobile attributed the decline to its expectation that reductions in 3G expenditures could be larger than increases in 4G spending.

Taiwan Mobile and FET plan to offer self-branded 4G smartphones to support their 4G operations that are scheduled to begin later this year.

Taiwan Mobile plans to offer 4G phones under its Amazing brand while FET will offer FET Smart phones, according to Digitimes.

FET plans to offer quad-core 4G phones priced around NT$5,000 to NT$7,000. Both companies secured 700 MHz spectrum and with few 4G smartphones supporting the frequency, FET and Taiwan Mobile will offer self-branded models instead.

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