Taiwan's Vee Time buys rival Vmax

Dylan Bushell-Embling
27 Sep 2011

A merger between two Taiwanese Wimax companies could mark the start to a wave of consolidation in the overcrowded and undernourished local market.

Wimax operator Vee Time will buy out Vmax Telecom for TW$1.45 billion (US$1.43 billion), Taipei Timesreported.

Vee Time had originally planned to only buy a 50% stake in Vmax, but will now fully acquire the shares held by existing owners Vibo Telecom, Intel and equipment maker Tecom Co.

The deal would cut the number of Wimax providers operating in Taiwan to five. The government issued six licenses in 2009, but the technology has not seen the traction officials were anticipating.

As of end-March, there were only around 58,000 Wimax subscribers in Taiwan.

Due to the slow take-up, pundits including the chairman of the Taipei Computer Association have been calling for consolidation in the market for some time.

Another Wimax operator, Global Mobile, flagged an intention to abandon Wimax in favor of LTE in may.

The remaining companies holding Wimax licenses are Far EasTone, First International Telecom and Tatung Infocom.

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