|Traded as||4904:TT Taiwan|
|Founded||April 11, 1997|
|Headquarters||Taipei City, Taiwan|
|Jan Nilsson, President|
FarEasTone Telecommunications (FarEasTone; Chinese: 遠傳電信股份有限公司; pinyin: Yuǎnchuán Diànxìn Gǔfèn Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī) is a telecommunications company based in Taiwan. It is the second largest telco in Taiwan after Chunghwa Telecom.
FarEasTone was founded in October 1996 by the Far Eastern Group, in a joint venture with AT&T. The company was awarded two wireless (GSM 900 and GSM 1800) service licenses in January 1997. The following year, FarEasTone launched its service and became the first company to introduce a fully integrated dual-band system.:7
FarEasTone was the first Taiwanese company to offer the Java 32K SIM Toolkit, mobile banking, mobile commerce, real-time access to financial, entertainment and headline news, mobile fax/mail, logo download and e-coupons. In March 1999, after fourteen months in business, FarEasTone achieved one million revenue-producing customers, faster than any other GSM operator.:7
The company was listed on the Taiwan OTC Stock Exchange in December 2001 under the ticker code 4904 and was officially listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in the electronic sector in August 2005. In September 2006, FarEasTone began providing 3G WCDMA services.:7-8
On December 16, 2009, FarEasTone acquired WiMAX licenses, and from December 22 began offering WiMAX transmission services. On October 30, 2013, Taiwan's LTE standard license bidding closed with FarEasTone paying NT$31.315 billion yuan for the LTE frequency bands (700 MHz A2/1800 MHz C3, C4), with a total bandwidth of 30 MHz. FarEasTone launched LTE services on June 3, 2014.
Mergers and acquisitions
Far EasTone merged with KG Telecom in early 2004, the largest ever merger in the Taiwan telecom industry. In February 2005, Far EasTone bought a 55.3% stake in Arcoa. In May 2005, Far EasTone formally merged with Yuan-Ze Telecom. In May 2007, the company bought a 51% equity interest in Q-ware Communications to extend the scope of its wireless communications services.
In August 2007, Singtel transferred its 24.5% stake in New Century Infocomm Tech company for a 3.5 per cent share of Far EasTone. On April 30, 2009, it was announced that China Mobile would invest up to 12 per cent into the company. The amount of foreign ownership was projected to be: NTT DoCoMo at 4.1 per cent, SingTel at 3.5 per cent, China Mobile at 12 per cent. On April 27, 2012, Singtel sold its 3.98% share of Far EasTone. On April 18, 2013, China Mobile announced the termination of a stake in Far EasTone, though the parties signed a bilateral cooperation agreement.
A WSJ article said on July 5, 2015, that there was a consortium seeking to buy cable television company China Network Systems from the private equity firm MBK Partners LP, led by the company and Morgan Stanley.
The total number of subscribers between the Company and KGT was 6.13 million at the end of December 2008. In the Taiwan mobile market (2 & 3G) the market shares were as follows: Chunghwa Telecom at 35%, FarEasTone at 25%, Taiwan Mobile at 24%, Asia Pacific Telecom and Vibo Telecom at 10%, and PHS at 6%.:55 The company, along with other leading Taiwan companies, has recently (April 29, 2016) been raising prices.
- "4904:Taiwan Stock Quote - Far EasTone Telecommunications Co Ltd". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- 2008 Annual Report FET. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- Su, Wenbin (2009-12-16). "NCC發給遠傳、威邁思WiMAX營運執照" (in Chinese). iTHome. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Xiao, Fengzi (2013-10-31). "台灣 LTE 4G 競標結果解析與後續發展預測" (in Chinese). Techbang. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "SingTel in NCIC/Far EasTone share swap deal". Telegeography. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "China Mobile to take stake in Taiwan's Far EasTone". China Daily. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "SingTel says sells stake in Far EasTone for $273 mln". Reuters. 2012-04-27. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Poon, Paul; Mozur, Paul (2013-04-18). "China Mobile Scraps Tie-Up With Far EasTone". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Carew, Rick (2015-07-05). "Far EasTone, Morgan Stanley Group Near $2.3 Billion Cable TV Deal in Taiwan". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- Chen, Ted (2016-04-29). "Credit Suisse welcomes telecoms' price increases". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
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