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Taiwan Mobile's 4G network coverage to come online in July

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Mobile Co. (台灣大哥大), the country's second largest mobile provider, will roll out 4G broadband service starting in July, and there will be enough coverage so that between 70 and 80 percent of the local population will be able to access the service.

Taiwan Mobile's staff are currently working hard in order to launch the service on schedule, Taiwan Mobile General Manger James Cheng (鄭俊卿) said yesterday.

Taiwan is set to enter the age of 4G in the second half of the year. Ever since the country's largest mobile provider, Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信), made the announcement about launching 4G service in July, Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone Telecom (遠傳電信) have followed suit to make the same announcement. The market is waiting to see which company will be the first to roll out the service.

Telecommunication companies have treated data usage plans as classified information. But Cheng said yesterday the usage plan for 4G will be cheaper than that for 3G. The new plan will be priced above NT$1,000, and there will be no charge for phone calls made among Taiwan Mobile users. The new 4G plan will “pleasantly surprise” customers, Cheng said.

The Age of 4G to Arrive

Since 3G's introduction, all three telecommunication companies have seen revenues decline for voice-related services. According to Cheng, Taiwan Mobile's voice service related revenues have declined between 5 and 10 percent on an annual basis. Revenues derived from Internet service, however, are rising 30 percent annually thanks to the increasing adoption of 3G broadband.

Internet-related service revenues are expected to grow 20 percent this year. However, with the introduction of 4G service, data usage is set to increase and derived revenues are expected to surpass those derived from voice services, Cheng said.

Aim for 400,000-500,000 Users

Taiwan Mobile forecasts the number of 4G users to reach between 400,000 and 500,000 this year. Only when they reach 2 million users will the company realize an economy of scale and consequently speed up the launch of 4G service, Cheng said.

Taiwan Mobile aims to be the leading 4G service provider, offering the most extensive coverage and the most reliable and fastest Interest service, Cheng said. In the near future the company will provide 17 mobile devices that support 4G broadband. Taiwan Mobile will also try to integrate various services including cable service, online shopping and various value-added services.

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