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[FET] Taiwan telecom giants launch US$2 unlimited overseas data plan

Post Date 2018.06.05From:By Sophia Yang,Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Following the NT$499 4G deal mania and price war, Taiwan's telecom giants are entering a new battlefield: a super-cheap unlimited data roaming package while traveling abroad.

With the peak summer travel season coming up, the main telecom service providers are seeking to tap into peak data roaming demand from the growing outbound tourists during school's long summer break. FarEasTone announced Monday it was rolling out several low-cost unlimited overseas data packages, or data roaming passports, for five different areas, with the cheapest daily rate starting from NT$37 (US$1.24). 

The FarEasTone's data roaming passports are available for most popular travel destinations, which include the United States/Canada for NT$999 (US$33.54)/15 days (connection would slow down once reaching the 5GB), the UK/EU/Australia/New Zealand for NT$999 (US$33.54)/30 days (12GB), Japan/Korea for NT$699 (US$23,47)/8 days (8GB), China/Hong Kong/ Macau/Japan/Korea/the Philippines/ Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand/Cambodia for NT$599 (US$20.11)/8 days (4GB), and Hong Kong/Singapore/Thailand/Malaysia/Indonesia/the Philippines/Cambodia/Laos for NT$299 (US$10.94)/ 8 days (3GB). The package is in average priced one third of its rivals.

Taiwan Mobile also follows suit by rolling out summer-only low-cost 4G prepaid cards. Two options are available for people traveling to the U.S.: NT$899 (US$30.18) for 12 days and NT$999 (US$33.54) for 15 days. The data can be shared on multiple devices upon request. The special packages are only available until the end of August.

The official statistics show that 15.65 million Taiwanese made overseas trip in 2017 alone, up 7.3 percent from the previous year and setting a new record high. Official data also indicate a record 4.5 million Taiwanese visited Japan last year. International data roaming demand has accordingly become a new cash cow after the price war of the monthly NT$499 unlimited 4G data plan as Mother's Day special, which is believed to have hurt profits of the three telecom giants.

Experts provide quick tips to cut roaming costs for those not buying an unlimited international data plan, including switching off the mobile phone's data roaming and using free Wi-Fi, and downloading maps on Wi-Fi before you go.