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Taiwan
Internet Usage Stats and Marketing Report


Internet Usage Statistics:
14,500,000 Internet users as of Dec./06, 63.0% of the population, per FIND.

Latest Population Estimate:
23,001,442 population for 2007, according to world-gazetteer.com.

Island Land Area:
36,175 square kilometers - Population density is 633 persons per sq km.

Gross National Income:
GNI per capita is US$ 13,320 ('04) according to World Bank.

Internet Usage and Population Statistics:

YEAR

Users

Population

% Pop.

Usage Source

2000

6,260,000

22,300,929

28.1 %

ITU

2004

12,200,000
22,794,795
53.5 %

2006

14,500,000

23,001,442

63.0 %

FIND






Taiwan Search Engines and Local Directories:

ASIACO

English

Asia Search Engine Directory for Taiwan.

GOOGLE.TW

Hanyu

Google access to Taiwan's websites, Mandarin language websites, as well as Google's general web search.

OPENFIND

Hanyu

Open the web to Mandarin language websites.

YAHOO.TW

Hanyu

Yahoo local search for Taiwan.

YAM

Hanyu

Taiwanese search engine and directory.

YAM

English

English version of Yam Taiwanese local search engine and directory.



Telecommunications and Internet in Taiwan

Taiwan - Internet, Mobile and Broadband Report
Internet growth has been phenomenal in Taiwan. The proportion of the population who are Internet users has exceeded 60%. And some 70% of all homes in Taiwan own PCs and around 60% of homes have Internet connections. Taiwan is a country leading in technology use. This report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media including VoIP and IPTV developments.
Get the executive summary.


Asian - Forecast Telecom Markets Report
This market report provides a series of forecasts for subscriber growth in selected markets in Asia. It predominantly covers the fixed-line, Internet and mobile subscriber market segments in 15 countries across Asia. It is noted that the report has focused on developing economies in the region where the main segments of the markets are still very much in their basic subscriber growth phases. The forecasts cover a range of periods with some commencing in 2006 and most forecasting ending in 2017.
See the executive summary.


Taiwan - Mobile Communications Major Operators and Services
Taiwan has undoubtedly one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in Asia. Headed by what has been a runaway mobile sector which passed 100% penetration in early 2002 (it has since fallen back to just below 90%) and a very strong fixed-line telephone sector with a penetration of 60%, the market was continuing to find new ways to grow. An important factor in this growth has been the role of government in creating a liberalised telecom market. First there was the strong push for competition to Chunghwa Telecom. The focus has since moved to privatising the incumbent. This report provides statistics on the Taiwan telecom market and an overview of the fixed-line business.
See report summary.


Taiwan - Mobile Communications Market Overview and 3G Report
Consistent with the performance of Taiwan’s impressive mobile sector – one of the highest penetrated mobile markets in the world – the country has been energetically moving into the ‘next generation’ of mobile services. Following the awarding of 5 licences for 3G services in 2002, one of the new licensees, APBW, launched it’s a cdma2000 1x service in 2003. The new operator claimed 550,000 subscribers by early 2005, after growth of almost 200% in 2004. The other 3G licensees announced plans to launch new services in 2005. As well as taking a look at what is happening with next generation mobile services in Taiwan, this report provides a general overview of the mobile market.
See report summary.


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Ten Years of Internet in Taiwan

In June 2004, people who have active Internet access accounts in Taiwan surpassed 10 million, population that have used Internet reached 12.2 million, according to FIND research.

Every quarter FIND collected information about Internet subscribers from Fixed Network Service Providers, Internet Service Providers (ISP), Taiwan Academic Network (TANet) and Directorate General of Telecommunications (DGT) under Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) to analyze the Internet applications status in Taiwan.

I - Internet Accounts/Subscribers:

Statistics showed that at the end of June 2004, there were 10.2 million Internet subscribers. Of them there were 3.74 mobile Internet subscribers, 3.26 million dial-up subscribers, 2.82 million xDSL subscribers, 350,000 cable modem subscribers, 13,000 leased-line subscribers, 12,000 ISDN subscribers and 4,500 optical fiber subscribers.

The number of Taiwan's Internet accounts increased by at least 400,000 every quarter since the second quarter of 2003. However, the growth slowed in the second quarter of 2004 due to the decline in the growth of mobile Internet subscription and the number of dial-up subscribers. The number of subscribers only increased by 10,000 from the previous quarter.

Mobile Internet subscribers for the first outnumbered dial-up subscribers in the second quarter of 2004 and become the most popular method of Internet connection in Taiwan, accounting for 37% of total Internet subscribers. xDSL and cable modem subscribers together accounted for 31% while dial-up subscribers fell 4% to 32%. Less than 1% of subscribers adopted methods other than the above for their Internet connection.

2 - Broadband subscribers:

Taiwan's broadband (xDSL & cable modem here) subscribers reached 3.17 million at the end of June 2004 with an increase of 90,000, or 3%, from the previous quarter. Compared with the last quarter of 2003 and the same period in 2003, there were 280,000 and 720,000 more subscribers respectively. This showed that the growth of Taiwan's broadband Internet subscribers has slowed down significantly.

XDSL (mostly ADSL) has been the main broadband connection technology in Taiwan, with 2.82 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2004. This marked a 28% growth from the same period last year and 5% growth from the previous quarter, also indicating a slowdown in xDSL growth.

In terms of xDSL downloading bandwidth, there was a major change in this survey. Previously 59% of xDSL subscribers used 512K-640K (640K not included) and 38% used 1.5M-8M (8M not included). However, after domestic Internet Service Providers (ISPs) started free upgrading and price-cutting programs in February 2004, broadband services and speed in Taiwan have been greatly improved. Currently 48% of xDSL subscribers used 1M-1.5M (1.5M not included), up from 2% in the first quarter of 2004. This was mainly because ISPs upgraded 512/64K subscribers to 1M/64K. This was followed by 1.5M-8M (8M not included) subscribers which accounted for 47%. Previous majority 512K-640K (640K not included) subscribers currently accounted only for 4%, down from 59%. Less than 1% of xDSL subscribers used other bandwidth.

For cable modem connection, there were 350,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2004, up 38% from the same period a year ago but down 9% from the previous quarter. Due to the costly duplex transmission infrastructure, cable modem connection has not been as easy as ADSL connection. As a result, growth was slow and there was even decline in cable modem subscribers sometimes.

Taiwan's broadband Internet started to take off in 1999 when cable television operators offered cable modem Internet services and grew rapidly after HiNet offered ADSL connection. Although cable modem was the main broadband connection for six quarters until it was replaced by ADSL at the end of 2000. The gap of subscription between cable modem and ADSL was 1.76 million at the beginning of 2004 and increased to 2.48 million in this survey. ADSL has now become the main broadband connection in Taiwan, taking 90 percent of the broadband market since the second quarter of 2002.

3 - Dial-up subscribers:

Dial-up was one of the main connection methods in Taiwan in the early stage of Internet and its subscription reached an all-time high of 5.42 million in June 2001. However, dial-up connection started to decline since September 2001 as more people switched to xDSL and cable modem connection. There were only four million dial-up subscribers at the end of 2003 and in the second quarter of 2004, its subscribers declined further to 3.26 million. On average, dial-up subscription fell by 300,000 every quarter since the third quarter of 2003. Accumulated dial-up subscription loss in the past year was 1.42 million.

Of Taiwan's total dial-up users, paid subscribers accounted for about 60%, down from 80% at the end of 2002 while free users jumped to 40% from 20 % over the same period. With the popularity of broadband, free dial-up users are expected to decrease as well, although in a smaller scale.

4 - Leased line, ISDN and satellite subscribers:

Like dial-up connection, leased-line, ISDN and satellite subscription also declined as users switched to xDSL and cable modem. At the end of the second quarter of 2004, leased-line subscription was 13,000, down 4% and 18% from the previous quarter and a year before respectively. ISDN subscription saw marginal growth to 12,000, up 4% and 1% from the previous quarter and a year before respectively. For the first time, optical fiber subscription was included in the survey, with 4,500 users in Taiwan in the second quarter of 2004.

5 - Mobile Internet subscribers:

DGT data showed that there were 3.74 million mobile Internet (WAP and GPRS here) subscribers in the second quarter of 2004, rising 8% and 118% from the previous quarter and a year before respectively. At this rate there will be four million mobile Internet users in Taiwan at the end of 2004. Of mobile Internet subscribers, 97% or 3.62 million were GPRS (general packet radio service) users while 120,000 used WAP (wireless application protocol). Compared with the previous quarter, GPRS users increased by 8% but WAP subscription fell 1%. Another finding is that although the number of GPRS users increased, its growth slowed as the market moved toward saturation. Over one year since the second quarter of 2003, the GPRS growth rate has plummeted to 8% from 74%.

The number of mobile Internet subscribers jumped as a result of simple application procedure, low fees or even free of charge. Under DGT's definition for mobile Internet users, those who own WAP or GPRS mobile phones and Internet accounts are mobile Internet users. However, not all of those users are regularly connected to the Internet. According to a FIND mobile/wireless survey in August 2004, the mobile/wireless Internet penetration rate was 8%, showing that 1.84 million people in Taiwan have used such service. As this number was far from DGT's 3.74 million mobile Internet subscribers, it shows there is room to cultivate potential users.

6 - Current Trends:

Generally speaking dial-up, broadband and mobile Internet are the main methods for Internet connection, each with about three million subscribers. However, users have been switching to broadband from dial-up and this trend is expected to continue. Although the growth in broadband connection has shown signs of slowdown, it is moving toward high-speed broadband. Despite rapid increase in Mobile Internet subscription in recent years, Mobile Internet applications are not yet popular in Taiwan. Therefore the major task is to continue upgrading Mobile Internet related content, services and applications.

7 - Growth of Internet Users:

ACI-FIND estimates the number of Taiwan's regular Internet users (Note*) through Internet subscribers. There were 8.92 million Internet users in Taiwan as of June 2004, with Internet penetration rate at 39%. Compared with the same period a year ago, there was an increase of 160,000 users, with a growth rate of 2%. (Figure 4)

The number of Taiwan's regular Internet users was just 440,000 when FIND conducted its first survey in June 1996. The number soared to 3 million by 1998 and increased steadily till the end of 2001. Since 2002, Taiwan's online population has started to show signs of reaching saturation and the Internet subscription has switched from narrowband to broadband gradually.

Another survey of FIND found that about 12.2 million people, or 54% of Taiwan's population, were general Internet users. In terms of gender, more men (56%) than women (52%) used the Internet. As for age groups, 95% of people between 15 and 24 years old were Internet users but only less than 10% of people over 60 used the Internet. Geographically, Internet penetration rate was over 60% in northern Taiwan while in other parts it was between 40% and 50%. (Figure 5)

Note*: The "Regular Internet users" in this survey indicates individuals with active accounts to access to the Internet from home, working places or schools. The "General Internet users" are individuals who have ever used Internet. "Internet subscribers" are customers (individuals, households or businesses) with ISP accounts. Some of the Internet users have multiple accesses; and some users share one common account. The duplicate portion has been deducted from the count in this study. Therefore, counts of subscribers differ from counts of users.

Source:
FIND - Focus on Internet News and Data.


Click on this link to see more Asia Telecommunications Reports. New statistics, figures, overviews and updates become available all the time.

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