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Taiwan Star launches new and competitively priced 4G service

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Star Cellular Co. yesterday launched the company's 4G mobile broadband network while unveiling competitively priced subscription contract terms in vying for the crowded local telecoms market.

The company yesterday announced that unlimited usage plans for its 4G LTE network will be available for NT$599 monthly under two-year contracts. The company emphasized that subscribers under its two-year contracts will have fully unlimited 4G usage, and that no connection speed throttling will be imposed regardless of bandwidth consumption. Contract terms also extend complimentary voice calls between Taiwan Star and Vibo Telecom cellular phone numbers, and provide subscribers with 30 minutes of voice calls free of charge to phone numbers of other carriers.

In addition, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.-made InFocus M510 and the ZTE Blade VEC 4G handsets are available free of charge to subscribers signing up to the company's two-year contract.

A number of other contracts are available to cater to the needs of a variety of user demographics, with 4G service available for as low as NT$199 per month.

The company also announced that its complementary trial period will be extended one additional month, running through the end of this month.

New Entrant eyes 20 Percent of 4G Market

The company announced its goal to take 20 percent of Taiwan's 4G market by offering the best value services to subscribers, adding that currently its network is able to provide coverage for 80 percent of Taiwan's population. The figure is expected to rise to 95 percent toward the end of this year, covering 21 counties and cities, 209 administrative districts, 156 commercial areas, 160 tourist attractions and 40 night markets, said the company. The company also stated that its network coverage is bolstered by 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.

The company yesterday stated that its 3G network has been upgraded to the 3.75G standard, with plans to expand its signal tower and infrastructure assets by 30 percent by the end of this year to provide seamless service coverage to its 3G and 4G subscribers.

Most notably, the company emphasized that its 4G network based on the 900MHz band-base better conforms to internationally adopted standards, and is compatible with most popular mobile devices including the forthcoming new iPhone handset.

Industry reports indicate that 900MHz is superior to the 1,800MHz band, as the laws of physics dictate that signals sent out at higher frequency bands will travel less distance than signals sent at a lower frequency band. In addition, telecoms carriers adopting the 1,800MHz-band will be required to deploy more infrastructure assets to achieve equal coverage for their subscribers. Reports indicate that the 900MHz band has 30 to 40 percent better coverage than the 1800MHz band.

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Taiwan Star Cellular Co. Chairman Wei Ying-chiao, center, company President Cliff Lai, first left, and shareholders' representatives pose for a photo at the telecom carrier's 4G LTE network launch ceremony in Taipei, yesterday. The company unveiled its competitively priced unlimited 4G LTE service at NT$599 a month, available to subscribers signing on for two-year contracts. (CNA)

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