Motorola has been hired by Far EasTone Telecommunications to supply Far EasTone with WiMax networking equipment for its Taiwanese venture. Taiwan has remote mountain villages and sparsely populated islands that makes land-line telecommunications and Internet service too expensive to invest in. As a way to combat this, the government started its M-Taiwan (Mobile) project which encourages Internet mobility, WiMax, 3G (third generation telecommunications) and other wireless technologies.
Far EasTone won the contract to provide wireless services over its competitor Chunghwa Telecom. Chunghwa is a state-run company that controls Taiwan’s land-line telecommunications services. Jan Nilsson, Far EasTone’s president, hopes that by using WiMax the company will gain access to more home broadband Internet subscribers.
Strangely enough, the government of Taiwan has been trying to privatize Chunghwa to encourage competition but hasn’t been able to yet. By awarding the contract to Far EasTone and not Chunghwa, Taiwan’s government is creating an end-run around its own monopoly to spur competition. This is an example of how mobile phone technology creates new political realities and economic opportunities.