Mobile (cell) phone, new service now available

After four months of negotiations and ‘tomorrows’ I have finally signed a contract with Taiwan dageda (Taiwan Cellular Corp.) which allows me to offer mobile phone service to foreigners in Taiwan at rates which are comparable to what you get with a standard plan.

We’re in beta testing of the accounting system now, which means I can take a few customers before officially launching the service. I need to know that the process of signing up customers, activating the accounts, billing, and collecting the money will actually work before I start advertising properly. So I’m waiving the planned set-up fee of NT$500 for the first 20 customers who will try out the service over the coming months.

You need:

  • a GSM 2 or 3-band phone, which you can bring from your own country or buy locally.
  • a passport, and a photocopy of the front page.
  • at least NT$3000 to put down as a deposit.

You get:

  • a SIM card which works in Taiwan using the TCC network.
  • a monthly credit limit of at least NT$1500
  • a monthly bill, by email.
  • English language customer service.

You don’t get:

  • a fixed-term contract. 7 days notice is required to deactivate your account and refund your deposit.
  • international roaming.
  • internet access or other ‘premium’ services.

This system was developed, and approved by the government, for use by foreigners making short-term visits to Taiwan. An ARC is not required, and I am not able to legally provide a service to ROC citizens.


I’m not offering ‘low volume’ plans at the moment. The rates have to be very high in order to cover my expenses and people end up using the phone more than they planned to, which becomes ridiculously expensive. I’m working on the assumption that you’re going to be using the phone to keep in touch with friends, employers, etc. If you really don’t exect to make a lot of calls then get an IF card.

If you really use the phone a lot I can let you make calls at NT$5/minute, but you would have to guarantee spending at least NT$2000 a month. (400 minutes)

Pay NT$6/min, and the minimum monthly fee is NT$1200. (200 minutes)

At NT$6.5/min, the minimum is NT$975. (150 minutes)

At NT$7/min, the minimum is NT$840. (120 minutes)

NB: These rates are for calls to mobile phones. Calls to land lines (eg a Taipei number) cost twice as much as calls to mobile phones, and this is standard to other TCC plans. No, they never told me that either.

There are no monthly charges or line rental fees, and no charge for incoming calls.

Text messages cost NT$3.

International calls are via the 006 service, and charged at the standard rate offered by that company.

5% sales tax is included. No tips.

At the moment I am personally signing contacts with new customers, so you must be able to meet in Taipei to set up your account. Phone service is island-wide though.

contact admin@taiwancell.nett (spambot alert: delete the second ‘t’ to send email) if this is for you. DO NOT SEND A PM! My PM box is usually full.

thanks for the reply on my other thread.

I’m all new to this so only one quick question, what’s an IF card? I’m a kind of guy that would do really minimal calling and would only need an active phone only if someone wants to get in touch with me (calling me). Usually I prefer to send text messages. Rarely do I make outbound calls.

The IF card is the pre-pay service offered by another company, for which you need an ARC. Lots of other threads about them.

If you’re not going to make outgoing calls then I can’t help you. How does that work anyway? Your friends always carry the cost of talking to you? Or do they not make outgoing calls either?

Do you have a cost comparison chart of some sort between your service and what is offered by the other cellular services?

I’ve been in Taiwan for a couple of years and have been using IF card the whole time.

Nobody ever asked for an ARC.

When I first got the IF card I just had to register my name and passport number with the company over the phone…they never actually saw my passport.

Has the registration process changed?


I’m curious about how you can “offer” services from Taiwan dageda. What was the contract and what does it mean? Are you renting “ports” or something?

Not being negative at all here, I just don’t completely understand this.

In a word, no. That info is not always readily available, and even if it was it is subject to change and I don’t want to accidentally misrepresent them. There may even be laws against it. If anyone else wants to post the rates for the service they use then that would be interesting. I’m confident that I’m cheaper and more ‘foreigner-friendly’ than any other.

Kelake, they changed the rules. You need an ARC now. How much are you paying for calls, btw?

Coolingtower, I have a joint-promotion agreement.

I saw a cost comparison chart one time that listed the companies as “C company”, “F company”, etc. You know that they meant “Chunghwa”, “Fanya”, and (at the time) He Xin. I was wondering if they would get in trouble for that.

I think the arc response was for avc3163.

I’m ashamed to say that I paid 14k this month for my mobile phone bill. It’s the last time I pay that much and I will switch to some other provider - if possible. I send allot of text messages locally and overseas and tend to use the phone often. Though I have lived here 7 years and have credit cards I don’t hold much hope of getting a mobile contract here in Hsinchu.

For those who call overseas a lot, I’d recommend getting a calling card number from You will save an absolute fortune.

For those who need a cell phone in Taiwan and don’t have an ARC, Loretta’s plan sounds interesting, and I’m eager to hear how it turns out (so make sure to post your experiences here!)

[quote=“kelake”]I think the arc response was for avc3163.

I’m ashamed to say that I paid 14k this month for my mobile phone bill. It’s the last time I pay that much and I will switch to some other provider - if possible. I send allot of text messages locally and overseas and tend to use the phone often. Though I have lived here 7 years and have credit cards I don’t hold much hope of getting a mobile contract here in Hsinchu (Xinzhu).[/quote]

Kelake, anyone can get a contract if they have an ARC and are prepared to pay a deposit. If you’re sure you’re here long-term then that option is open to you. If you’re not willing to sign a long-term commitment then maybe you should contact me?

Also, if you’re spending a lot on calls then there aren’t many people out there willing to charge you just NT$5/minute like I would - even with a contract. You will be able to send text messages internationally, but not to use your phone while overseas.

Loretta, is 5NT$/minute to any Taiwan cellular network or just TCC?

I have one flat rate for calls to ANY Taiwan cellular network.

That is something to beware of as some plans do have different tariffs.

We’re gearing up to start serious commercial operation. Everything seems to work properly so now we are actively looking for customers.

The NT$500 set-up fee isn’t going to fly so we’ve done away with it completely and introduced a 3-month minimum period instead. Contracts are open-ended after that. Rates remain as published.

Would appreciate comments on the new site. What have we forgotten?

Well done.

Glad to see things are up and running.


The site looks nice.

Have you thought about offering a shorter-term service for visiting business people?

You could offer cell phones at deposit for very short term use (like 2-14 days), ensuring the deposit is comparable with the price of the phone, so that you get the phone back. Business cards at the CKS info booth would help, as well as Web adverts on the “where to stay, what to do in Taiwan” Web sites.

Obviously, it would be ideal if you could charge against credit cards, but there may be a way to work it with those pre-paid calling cards (e.g. 300 NT).

Just an idea (more of a cell phone rental, really), I don’t know if there’s a market for it. Then again, I didn’t real your entire site so you may already offer this!

Is this the right forum for advertising?

[quote=“Loretta”]Would appreciate comments on the new site. What have we forgotten?[/quote]

To capitalise the words on the left menu. And maybe change the font to Arial or Tahoma? Comic Sans MS is cute, but it’s kind of irksome on a website.

Also, if you added a bit of colour to the website, it’d look a lot more interesting. Even just making the left and right menus different blocks of colour.

Something like this?

Some of the text is confusing.


(We know about the hassles of getting your phone connected in Taiwan.(getting a mobile phone account?))
(take the first steps to independence today, and enjoy your living?)

I have obsessive-complusive editing disorder.

Thanks for the feedback. New site in the works, but I’m constantly distracted by customer service issues.

Hat’s off Mr. entrepreneur. Hope all goes well. I don’t doubt it will keep you busy but maybe it will be worth all your efforts over time.