Eastern Broadband inks alliances

By Ruby Ying, The China Post

Eastern Broadband Telecom (EBT), an island-wide fixed-line carrier, announced yesterday morning that it has formed partnerships with two local mobile service providers KG Telecommunications and MoBiTai Communication to connect their telecom networks. The alliance will allow customers of both KG Telecom and MoBiTai to make international calls by adding EBT’s dialing prefix “005” when they dial international numbers. KG and MoBiTai combined have 4.3 million subscribers. According to vice chairman of EBT, Wang Ling-tai, the company will also ally with TransAsia Telecom, a local mobile telecom provider serving southern Taiwan, to provide direct international dialing services to TransAsia’s customers.

EBT is expected to launch its connection with TransAsia by the end of this month. The alliance with TransAsia will fatten EBT’s mobile customer base to over five million subscribers. Meanwhile, local media yesterday reported that ETwebs, another affiliate of the Eastern Group focused on broadband Internet service, will merge with its competitor GigaMedia, which is an affiliate of KG. However, reports of the merger were refuted by ETwebs and GigaMedia, which claimed that talks of the merger have not been finalized yet. Analysts pointed out that if merged, ETwebs and GigaMedia will in total have 160,000 broadband network subscribers and become a dominant force in the cable modem market.