Chunghwa Telecom (Chinese: 中華電信; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Diànxìn; Wade–Giles: Chung-hua² Tien-hsin) (NYSE: CHT, TWSE: 2412) is the largest telecommunications company in Taiwan and the incumbent mobile, PSTN and broadband carrier there. It has its headquarters in Zhongzheng District, Taipei on the remains of the old Taipei Prison.
Chunghwa Telecom was founded as a company on June 15, 1996 as part of the Taiwanese government's privatisation efforts. Prior to this, it operated as a business unit of the Directorate General of Telecommunications (zh:交通部電信總局) for over 100 years. The company’s common shares have been listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under the number “2412” since October 2000, and its ADSs have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CHT” since July 2003. In August 2005, Chunghwa Telecom became a privatised company, as the Taiwan government’s ownership was reduced to less than 50%.
The Directorate General of Telecommunications once exercised a monopoly on the telecommunications market in Taiwan. To make the telecommunications industry more competitive and improve service quality, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications began to promote "telecommunications liberalisation" policy from the late 1980s, in which the telecom industry will gradually be opened to private industry operations. The liberalisation of telecommunications as well as the management and operation of telecommunications business as mentioned in the plan aimed to achieve "separation between government and enterprises".
On July 1, 1996, the "Chunghwa Telecom Ordinance" was enacted under an amendment of the "Telecommunications Act", which formally established Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. with a capital of NT$ 96.477 billion yuan, operating first class and second class telecom services, under the "Taiwan Northern Telecom Branch", "Central Taiwan telecommunications branch", "Southern Taiwan telecommunications branch"," long-distance and mobile communications branch", "International Telecommunication Branch", "Data Communications Branch", "Telecommunications Research Institute" and "Telecommunications Training Institute".
In 1997, Chunghwa Telecom was awarded the license to operate a second-generation mobile communications (2G) network (GSM 900MHz and 1800MHz).
In October 2000, Chunghwa Telecom was listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "2412." In July 2003, Chunghwa Telecom was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CHT." August 12, 2005, the Government of China Telecom's stake to 50%, and officially became a private company.
In February 2002, Chunghwa Telecom was awarded the license to operate a third-generation mobile communications (3G) network (WCDMA 2100MHz).
In 2007, Chunghwa Telecom acquired Senao International, and Senao becomes the exclusive sales agent of Chunghwa Telecom mobile phones.
On May 1, 2007, Chunghwa Telecom set up a division for enterprise customers, incorporated in the Southern Taiwan telecommunications branch.
On October 30, 2013, Chunghwa Telecom acquired in an auction for NT$ 39.075 billion a spectrum of LTE bands (900MHz B2 / 1800MHz C2 / C5), with a bandwidth limit of 2x35MHz, as well as C5-band (1800MHz).
On May 29, 2014, Chunghwa Telecom held a press conference to announce the start of LTE services on May 30, 2014, and this made Chunghwa Telecom the first telco in Taiwan to provide LTE services.
Chunghwa Telecom is the largest telecommunication service provider in Taiwan and one of the largest in Asia in terms of revenue. In terms of both revenue and customers, Chunghwa is Taiwan’s largest provider of fixed line services, mobile services, broadband access service, and Internet service. The company also provides information and communication technology services to corporate customers.
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Senao International, a cellular phone distributor from which Senao Networks, manufacturer of data networking products and wireless telephones under the EnGenius and Senao brands was spun off.