Taiwan – Telecom
Taiwan has developed a dynamic telecommunications industry
defined by excellent telecommunications infrastructure and a very competitive
mobile market. Taiwan’s fixed-line market continues to be dominated by
incumbent operator Chunghwa Telecom despite competition and fixed mobile
substitution eating into its market share and fixed-line revenue. However the
market remains important due to the increasing popularity of fixed broadband
which is undergoing a transition from predominantly DSL to fibre access based
Taiwan’s telecoms industry is served by six mobile operators and
four fixed-line operators. However, many telecoms sub-sectors are at or near
saturation which limits the scope for growth.
Taiwan boasts one of the world’s most advanced broadband
networks and broadcasting infrastructure. To improve its position within the
ICT value chain the Taiwanese government and private investors invested
significantly in developing standards such as WiMAX. Private investors are
attracted to Taiwan due to its regulatory certainty, market maturity, an
educated workforce and highly clustered ICT sector that sits at the heart of
Taiwan’s economic development.
The number of fixed-line subscribers in Taiwan grew gradually
before peaking in 2005. Since then the trend has been one of gradual decline as
fixed-lines are substituted with mobile phones. CHT has tried to arrest the
decline in fixed-lines by focusing on selling fixed broadband products. Fixed
line penetration has decreased gradually from 54.6 in 2011 to 49.7% in 2016.
Taiwan possesses a competitive mobile market comprised of six
mobile network operators, of which three dominate the market. High mobile
penetration means competition is intense to gain new subscribers hence the
market was quick to embrace LTE due to the new subscriber opportunity it
Annual market growth of the mobile subscriber market has been in
low single digit figures from 2011 to 2014. Market penetration peaked in 2014
at 129. By 2015 the market saw a slight contraction due to a highly mature and
saturated market. Market penetration declined to 128% in 2015 and 127% in 2016
with the market reaching 29.7 million subscribers.
LTE has experienced strong growth since the introduction of
services, with LTE subscriber numbers growing at a faster rate than that of 3G.
Taiwan’s mobile operators have focused on LTE as a means to increase ARPU to
offset the continual year-on-year decline in overall ARPU levels. Mobile users
are attracted to LTE due to improved quality of experience provided through
faster speeds. Market penetration is expected to grow strongly over the next
five years to 2021.
Taiwan has seen very strong growth in its mobile broadband
subscribers over the past few years driven by strong growth of 4G services.
Penetration has risen form 53% in 2015 to 76% in 2015 and 81% in 2016. Further
strong growth is predicted over the next few years to 2019.
Taiwan possesses an advanced fixed broadband market, with
services accessible through a variety of technology platforms including DSL,
fibre, Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC), leased lines and wireless. Fibre is the most
popular platform and has underpinned Taiwan’s relatively high standing in
global broadband rankings.
Chunghwa Telecom is the largest ISP in Taiwan, having successfully
leveraging its ownership of the last mile to increase and consolidate its share
of the fixed broadband market.
Recognising the ability of utilising ICT to improve both social
and economic development, Taiwan has taken steps to develop a digital economy,
encompassing digital media and e-services and building upon the high
availability of fixed and mobile broadband networks. Private sector involvement
is particularly strong in digital media, with digital media content widely
accessible via HFC and IPTV networks. Telecom operators such as Chunghwa
Telecom have also invested heavily in digital media as a means to cross-sell
additional products to existing telecom customers.
Telecom continues to dominate Taiwan’s fixed-line sector
has managed to maintain its position through heavy investment in fibre
partnered with Far EasTone (FET) for a pre-commercial software-defined
infrastructure (SDI) trial.
EasTone (FET) and Ericsson signed a 5G MoU to jointly accelerate 5G
development for Taiwan.
remains challenging due to increased competition.
introduction has increased the number of mobile network operators.
take up is occurring at a faster rate than for 3G.
provides an opportunity to reverse declining ARPU levels
and Taiwan Mobile called on the government to continue to provide
subsidies to 2G subscribers.
continues to grow at the expense of xDSL with speeds of up to 300Mb/s
as allowed Taiwan to maintain a relatively high standing in fixed
is stable, with HFC operators looking to defined market share
government has been a strong driver of e-government initiatives
Telecom continues to focus on IPTV as a cross-selling opportunity for its
sizeable fixed broadband base.