Are TW 5G plans as bad as I think they are?

It’s my first month in Taipei. I’m trying to set up my mobile phone and internet. I was looking forward faster 5G internet, but from what I can tell, I’d be better off with 4G. Am I missing something?

I do animation and video work. I need to regularly upload and download large files. I’m from Hong Kong, where I had 25-30mbs speeds. It was adequate for my work, but not great. My building in TW can’t install 5G cables. So my only 5G option is a hotspot via mobile phone.

Unfortunately, the 5G plans I’ve seen limit the hotspot speeds to 10Mbps after you reach their modest data limit. It seems like I’d enjoy blazing speed for a few days, and the rest of the month would be too slow for professional work. That’s practically useless (at least to me).

Slowing speeds down to tenth or hundredth of what you enjoyed seems like such a bad deal for consumers, it makes me wonder I’m just getting a bad translation. Phrases like “speeds up to” “limited to” don’t translate very well. And regardless of language, ISPs generally use vague or obscure phrasing for the particulars of how the data limits work.

I find it strange that these plans wouldn’t let you switch to lower 5G speeds after you reach the data limit. If my math is right, even 1/10th of 5G would be something like 100Mbps. That would still be a good option for people like me. Instead TW tmobile companies seem to slow down consumers’ bandwidth about 100 times! Not as strange as the bird attacks I had, but whatever…

I’m also reading that the average 4G mobile speeds in Taipei are around 40-80Mbps… well above 10Mbps. Some reports claimed 119Mbps, but that seems too good to be true. I need to check reception for my area, and so forth. But an average of 60Mbps would still be double the 25-30Mbs speeds I was used to.

So… am I better off with a good 4G mobile plan? It seems like 5G is a waste of money and 4G would give me dependable and reasonably fast internet speeds.

I would ask if your building has fiber or if your landlord would install it or allow you to install it.

5G is fast if everyone using the network is sleep otherwise I don’t notice a huge increase in speed.

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, my wife checked into this for me (she arrived before me and speaks Chinese) and the answer is no.

Have they told you they are throttling you? I’ve never heard of this except for special low cost plans. That’s unusual in Taiwan.


Which provider/plan are you using? I’m using Taiwan mobile 4/5G and it’s quite fast when used as hotspot. There’s no data cap that I know of (I’m on the 吃到飽 plan), and I use a lot of data. I use my phone as hotspot everywhere I go in Taiwan and Taiwan mobile has great coverage everywhere, even up in hiking trails.

Just did a random test in 中山 with my laptop tethered to my phone, and I get 259 Mbps down / 32 Mbps up with 5G

I have Taiwan mobile’s 1 Gbps fiber at home and it’s quite fast (there’s a cheaper option for the building that’s like 300NT / month for 200Mbps but I don’t cheap out on internet)

I use a server at home for running ethereum nodes 24/7 and no problems. It uses lots of data and requires no downtime.

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Which provider/plan are you using?

No provider yet, I’m still comparing plans.

@jimbob132 Really great to hear this is your experience, that’s just the type of bandwidth I’d like to get. I’ve attached screen caps of TW mobile and ChungHwa and highlighted the parts that are troubling me. Hope this better explains what I’m confused about.

from Taiwan Mobile

similar from Chunghwa

I cant give you exact speeds because basically my phone is setup as a hotspot to play youtube for work. I noticed a few years ago my unlimited plan would never ever slow down. that was 3g. entering 4 g was ok too. now I notice after a week or so into the month the internet slows waaaaay down.

i am on a Chunghwa unlimited plan . it used to be 499. now I think its 599, maybe 699 (my wife pays the Bill’s).

we tester star last year to try and get better but it worse, sometimes slower, than our towns 2g lines. so we have them up after their free 1 month trial.

I would make sure your questions are direct, and written on the contract, that they dont “downgrade” you after a certain bandwidth. seems common here. another note is check your upload. before when we were sending huge files often, we got sunk WAY down for upload limits, which is way worse than the download limits.

I find 4g very adequate for everything. but its it’s obvious they intentionally cut you after a while which makes speeds so slow sometimes youtube wont even load properly.

I’m on the ‘5G好速成双+智慧家電+070’ plan (5G行動+光纖1Gbps), $1,599 per month if you sign up for 2 years

In the terms I see this (google translated):

“for 1399/1599 type, you can enjoy the hotspot sharing function during the contract period, and enjoy the unlimited transmission volume of hotspot sharing discount.”


So maybe it means while you’re on yearly contract for 吃到飽 1399/1599 plan, they give unlimited hotspot during that period. But it may not apply to the cheaper 999/1199 plans. And I think these plans aren’t the same as the ‘Sim-only plans you linked above’.

That’s not what it means. I was told by Taiwanmobile that for sharing as a hotspot, they allow up to 50GB per month at full speed. After that, you can still share the hotspot, but you will not be able to share 5G speed.

I wonder if that is referring to the 1199 plan? The notes say:

“11 熱點分享:申辦999/1199型專案熱點分享傳輸量與專案內含行動上網傳輸量合併計算;申辦1399/1599型可享綁約期間內,加贈熱點分享功能,並享熱點分享不限傳輸量優惠。申辦好速成双1199型,本機傳輸量到後降速至4G高速吃到飽,4G高速吃到飽係指傳輸速率最高50Mbps(下載)/20Mbps(上傳)。”

Google translate:

""11 Hotspot sharing: The transmission volume of hotspot sharing for the type 999/1199 project is combined with the transmission volume of the mobile Internet included in the project; for the type 1399/1599, the hotspot sharing function can be added during the contract period, and there is no limit to the hotspot sharing. Discounts on transmission volume. After applying for the Express Double Type 1199, the machine will slow down to 4G high-speed all-you-can-eat after the transfer volume is reached. 4G high-speed all-you-can-eat refers to the maximum transfer rate of 50Mbps (download)/20Mbps (upload).”

I used up 62 GB already for this month when I did the hotspot speed test. Maybe I’ll try again after 70 GB. I’ll ask Taiwan mobile this week.

If you need internet for work related reason where reliability is paramount and you must have a consistently high download speed, then get fiber internet or something. Only depend on a mobile connection if you do not depend on it for work. I say this because you could be unlucky and live somewhere where the indoor cell signal is crap (like me).

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If you can’t get fiber to your building just get CHT’s vDSL. Should be able to to 500m

Call Taiwan Mobile and see if they can set you up on their combo plan. $999, $1199 and $1399 for 4G or 5G with stable home broadband.

I’m on Chunghwa’s 4G unlimited data plan with no speed throttle and I regularly get 80Mbps download speed in my apartment in Taipei. If you could check the network speed in your apartment for the famous providers, I think 4G (LTE+) is enough for your use case.

Regarding home internet, check to see if optical fiber is an option in your house. If it isn’t, then Chunghwa can install 100Mbps/40Mbps internet with the telephone line.

I think this is limited to 100Mbps download, but I may be wrong?

I wouldn’t know. I’m only sharing what Taiwanmobile told me. I have the 1399 plan.

here’s mine. note my phone was MIA for 2 weeks this month and I haven’t gone out much. usually about 4x this monthly. no.ussues. but I dont upload a huge amount. probably under 5GB monthly on a busy month.

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Thanks for all the thoughtful replies and descriptions of your real-world bandwidth. A lot of good suggestions about my home setup, I’ll follow up on that in a moment. But it makes things confusing as ever. Returning to my original question about Mobile plans…

  1. It seems the only way to know what 10Mbs limits really mean is to talk to a company representative …in English. Do the standard help lines work? or do I need a hard-to-find number for foreigners?

  2. Do TW mobile plans allow a 1-month trial period or cancellations? In Hong Kong, once you signed the contract, there was no way out. When I was in the US in the 00s, you could usually cancel for a small fee.

I still need to get some type of Mobile plan. So, even if great bandwidth is possible at home, when it comes to mobile plans:

  • No way!. :rage: Paying 5G prices for an entire month but getting lousy 4G (10Mbps) for most of the month.
  • Yes! :partying_face: Paying premium 5G prices to get good 5G for most of the month.
    (good = @jimbob132’s 256Mbps)
  • Maybe :thinking: Paying 5G prices to get good 5G most of the time, and ocassionally ‘weak’ 5G connections (40-100mbps?).

Regarding my Home setup and reception. I did some basic testing…

Mobile Reception:
Overall, it seems we have OK, but not great, mobile reception at home. But this is a guess.

My wife has an unlimited Taiwan Mobile 4G plan. FWIW, we live near Dahu Park.
I tested her hotspot bandwidth on my laptop via I got:
22Mbps Download / 24Mbps upload

By changing the server on speedtest site I got better results: 30dl / 13up and 22dn / 24up.
My wife was surfing social media during the test, does that affect test results?
Also, I don’t know what different speedtest server options mean in practice.

Home Wifi:
Much faster. We have some sort of Chunghwa MOD home package. I don’t know the specifics of the contract or hardware connection (DSL, old-school phone, or some type of cable wiring).

During the day, home wifi speeds were nice :smiley:
52dl / 33up (Default Chunghwa Mobile server) 57dl / 26up (SeedNet Neihu server)
This even with my kids streaming on 2 different iPads:

But 2am at night it was crap… 12dl / 15up. :unamused: I assume this means I share bandwidth with my neighbors: at night they’re online and during the day they’re away at work.

It may be worth looking at upgrading the Chunghwa wifi package. My wife isn’t a computer person, but she’s an interior designer with lots of construction experience. When she says changing the wiring for fiber is impossible, I believe her! My wife is usually right anyway… :smirk:

Any additional thoughts given the new information is appreciated. Hope this helps.
I have screenshots of all my tests but I’ll spare you extra scrolling.

you can select an option to talk to an english speaking rep

breaking a contract means losing your deposit or getting charged a contract breaking fee

Depends on the proximity of the closest 5G cell towers.