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Internet usage, broadband and telecommunications reports

Internet Usage Statistics:
19,666,364 Internet users as of Dec 31, 2014;
83.8% of the population, according to ITU.

Taiwan - Taiwan is an island which has for all practical purposes been independent since 1950, but which mainland China regards as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland. China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. The leaders of China and Taiwan exchanged direct messages on July 2009 for the first time in more than 60 years. In June 2010, they signed an historic trade pact that was described by some analysts as the most significant agreement in 60 years of separation. Despite the recent thaw, Taiwanese officials complain that Beijing has kept increasing the number of short-range missiles aimed at Taiwan. The military threat from mainland China has been offset by the support and relationship between Taipei and Washington. The People’s Republic of China considers Taiwan part of their country and insists that nations cannot have official relations with both China and Taiwan. Despite its diplomatic isolation, Taiwan has become one of Asia’s big traders. It is considered to have achieved an economic miracle, becoming one of the top producers of computer technology in the world.

Internet Usage Statistics:
19,666,364 Internet users as of Dec./14, 83.8% of the population, per ITU.

Latest Population Estimate:
23,464,787 population for 2016, according to US Census Bureau.

Island Land Area:
36,175 square kilometers - Population density is 649 persons per sq km.

Gross National Income:
GNI per capita is US$ 22,598 (2015) according toWorld Bank.

Internet Usage and Population Statistics:




% Pop.

Usage Source




28.1 %



53.5 %




63.0 %





80.0 %





83.8 %



Taiwan Search Engines and Local Directories:



Open Directory for Taiwan.



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



Open the web to Mandarin language websites.



Yahoo local search for Taiwan.



Taiwanese search engine and directory.



Taiwanese local search engine and directory.

Telecommunications and Internet in Taiwan

Taiwan Telecoms, Mobile, and Broadband, Report Taiwan has developed a dynamic telecommunications industry defined by excellent telecommunications infrastructure and a very competitive mobile market. Get the executive summary.

Taiwan Digital Economy and Digital Media Report
Recognising the ability of utilising ICT to improve both social and economic development, Taiwan has taken steps to develop a digital economy, encompassing digital media and e-services and building upon the high availability of fixed and mobile broadband networks.
Read the executive summary.

Taiwan - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators, Statistics and Analysis Taiwan possesses a competitive mobile market comprised of six mobile network operators, of which three dominate the market. High mobile penetration means competition is intense to gain new subscribers hence the market was quick to embrace LTE due to the new subscriber opportunity it presented. This report provides an overview of the mobile market as well as industry level and operator level statistics on subscribers, market share and ARPU. LTE subscriber forecasts and penetration levels to 2021 are included. 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.

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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