Far EasTone, Taiwan Mobile launch LTE

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Days after Chunghwa Telecom launched Taiwan's first LTE network, Far EasTone and Taiwan Mobile have joined the party with launches of their own.

Far EasTone lit Taiwan's second LTE network on Tuesday, Channel News Asia reported. At launch the network covers mainly Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

At launch, Far EasTone is offering eight LTE plans at prices ranging from TW$199 ($6.62) to TW$2,699 per month. By comparison, the entry-level plan for Chunghwa Telecom's new 4G network costs TW$236.

The operator plans to deploy an LTE network offering wide coverage in the 700-MHz and 1800-MHz bands, and aims to cover 75% of the population by the end of this month.

Far EasTone has also set a target of having 400,000 to 500,000 LTE customers by the end of the year, and of covering 95% of the population in 2015.

Not to be outdone, Taiwan Mobile launched its own 4G network yesterday, the Taipei Times said.

At launch, Taiwan Mobile's LTE network uses the 700-MHz band, and covers around 70% of the nation's major metropolitan cities.

Taiwan Mobile could roll out 1,800-MHz services as early as next quarter, if it reaches a spectrum swap agreement with Far EasTone. The operator aims to have at least 500,000 subscribers and a 35% market share by the end of the year.

Taiwan Mobile's basic 4G package costs TW$599 for a 5GB allocation. 

Far EasTone, Taiwan Mobile and Chunghwa Telecom all acquired spectrum in last year's $4 billion 4G auction. Asia Pacific Telecom, Star Mobile Telecommunications and an affiliate of manufacturing giant Hon Hai all also won spectrum.

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