Taiwan price war could impede 5G development

24 Apr 2018

An ongoing price war in the Taiwanese mobile industry could hamper the development of 5G in the market, regulator NCC has warned.

The regulator has asserted that operators merely competing to lure each other's subscribers rather than developing innovative business models would not be positive for the development of 5G in Taiwan, the Taipei Times reported.

The NCC's comments come in the wake of Chunghwa Telecom's introduction of a TW$499 ($16.85) per month unlimited 4G mobile data and phone call plan, and the subsequent introduction of plans at the same price by rivals Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone and APT.

While the NCC insisted that it respects the free market, a race to the bottom n price does not make the admissible market bigger and will not sustain operators through to the commercial launch of 5G services.

Offering unlimited data and call services at unreasonably low prices will hurt operators' development in the long term, the regulator added. Operators are already grappling with declining revenue as a result of the price war, coupled with the continued decline in voice revenues.

The report adds that the NCC does not believe that Taiwan's operators will be able to follow the models their overseas counterparts have been pursuing to sustain growth - such as expanding overseas or diversifying into original media content - due to Taiwanese operators' relatively small size and regulatory restrictions.

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