Taiwan 3.5G mobile Internet-access could grow to 2 million users in 2009, says Vibo Telecom
Mobile access to the Internet through a notebook PC together with an HSDPA data card is becoming increasingly popular in the Taiwan market. The number of 3.5G Internet surfers, of which a large portion will be shifting from fixed-line ADSL, is likely to reach two million in 2009, according to president Feng-hsiung Chang for Vibo Telecom (one of the five 3G telecom carriers in Taiwan).
Download speeds for 3.5G access to the Internet are likely to increase from the current 3.6Mbps or 7.2Mbps to 14.4Mbps, while charge rates are generally lower than those for ADSL at comparable speeds, Chang indicated. This will encourage ADSL users to shift to 3.5G, Chang claimed. There are approximately four million ADSL subscribers currently in Taiwan, and as many as half of them may eventually shift to a 3.5G service if ADSL prices are not lowered, Chang analyzed.
Vibo Telecom has set up a network of 4,500 3G base stations of which a portion can be used to operate 3.5G services. Plans to set up an additional 1,000 3.5G base stations are in progress, Chang noted.