Far EasTone hands Ericsson $147m 3G deal

Staff writer
09 Aug 2012

Taiwan mobile carrier Far EasTone has signed a deal with Ericsson to purchase mobile switching equipment for its 3G network.

In a statement posted on the Taiwan Stock Exchange website on August 7, Far EasTone said the contract is valued NT$4.425 billion ($147.7 million).

The announcement came a week after Far EasTone awarded United Fiber Optic Communication a NT$650 million ($21.7 million) procurement contract for the supply of fiber optic equipment.

The deal with Ericsson is expected to help Far EasTone to meet the substantial growth in mobile data services brought by the widespread penetration of smartphones.

Company statics show that 29.2% or 1.981 million of Far EasTone’s 6.78 million mobile subscribers were using the company’s mobile data services in the second quarter ended June 30, up 56% from the same period a year earlier.

Far EasTone said smartphone and tablet penetration continues to grow at an average monthly rate of over 1%. About 32% of its total postpaid subscribers were using smartphones and tablets, consuming an average of 1.2-1.5GB (smartphone users) and 2-3GB (tablet usage) of data each month respectively.

During the quarter, APRU from smartphone users was NT$1500, double the ARPU from feature phone users, the company added.

As a result mobile data revenues rose significantly by 47.2% year-on-year to NT$4.346 billion, which contributed 28.8% of the company’s total service revenue of NT$15.1 billion in the second quarter.

As of June 30, Far EasTone had a 27.6% of share in Taiwan’s mobile market, outpacing Taiwan Mobile and APBW/VIBO, which had 26.7% and 12.8%, respectively. Yet it was still lagging behind Incumbent mobile carrier Chunghwa Telecom, which had the largest share of 32.9% in the second quarter.

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