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T Star Taiwan Review: A Slow Secret Exposed (+Speedtests)

While 2020 was probably a terrible year for most reading this review, it was actually the start of something amazing for me – the growth of Phone Travel Wiz.

You see, I started Phone Travel Wiz in August 2019 (even though I have been a traveler for about ten years – depending on when you read this review).

In March 2020, I decided to visit Taiwan for two months because my boyfriend's mom decided to visit Australia for a few months.

The apartment was too small for three people, and accommodation in Australia was far from affordable.

A few weeks later, the world went on a global lockdown… while I was still in Taiwan.

Australia was closed off for everyone – even its own citizens. Infection rates were crazy in Europe, also the Netherlands (where I am from)… so I did not feel like leaving Taiwan (where infection rates are surprisingly low).

Fortunately, the Taiwanese government was kind enough to extend everyone's visa every month – even though I would normally have to leave after 90 days.

At the time of writing, the Taiwanese government extended everyone's visa 28 times (or 840 days); insane!

Because of this lenient policy, I stayed in Taiwan for an entire year.

As a result, I extensively tested every Taiwanese SIM card, including T Star Taiwan.

T Star Taiwan SIM Card(s) Held by Adu

From Chiayi/Taichung on the west to Hualien/Taitung (literally meaning East Taiwan) on the east, I have been there.

And I tested each SIM card at 101 test locations.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz's collection of Taiwanese SIM Cards (Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, T Star, GT Mobile & Ibon Mobile)

I did not visit or do any tests in Changhua, Hsinchu, Keelung, Miaoli, Nantou, Pingtung & Yunlin countries + outlaying islands, but most of these counties are boring anyway (according to the Taiwanese!).

So when I say that T Star has a slow secret, with an emphasis on slow, that needs to be exposed in the title, you are probably curious what this secret is.

Worry not, I will let you know in this review 😜.

Let's get started, shall we?

T Star Taiwan Review by Phone Travel Wiz

Original publication: 25th of October 2022. Last updated: 2nd of January 2023.


Table of Contents

Who is T Star Taiwan?

T Star Taiwan Logo
© T Star

T Star Taiwan, or 台灣之星 and sometimes referred to as Vibo (even though that was a mobile operator T Star Taiwan bought and phased out in 2014), is the fourth-largest mobile operator in Taiwan.

On the 30th of December 2021, Taiwan Mobile, Taiwan's second-largest mobile operator, announced its merger with T Star Taiwan, which could result in the merging company (which will be called just Taiwan Mobile post-merger) becoming the largest in the country – overtaking Chunghwa Telecom.

For now, T Star Taiwan is one of the cheapest options in Taiwan.

In Taiwan, you have five mobile operators and one Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO):

  • Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信)
  • Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大)
  • Far EasTone (遠傳電信)
  • T Star Taiwan (台灣之星)
  • GT Mobile Taiwan (亞太電信)
  • Ibon Mobile (統一超商電信 – Far EasTone MVNO)

Just like Taiwan Mobile and T Star Taiwan, Far EasTone and GT Mobile Taiwan announced a merger.

For now, you have six options.

As you know, I tested the other four mobile operators + the sole MVNO during my one-year stay in Taiwan. You can read them here: Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone & GT Mobile Taiwan + Ibon Mobile.

Buying a SIM Card in Taiwan Guide (logos of Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, T Star, GT Mobile & Ibon Mobile)

Let's talk about T Star Taiwan's coverage first, after these quick frequency details:

  • 2G: N/A – shut down in 2017
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 900 MHz (Band 8), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 2100 MHz (n1), 3500 MHz (n78 – shared with GT Mobile Taiwan) & 28 GHz (n257)
  • VoLTE: Yes
  • VoWiFi: No

Here you have T Star Taiwan's APN settings:

  • Name: T Star
  • APN: internet

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.


T Star Taiwan Coverage + My Experience

You can have a mobile operator providing you 1 Gbps download speeds.

But it will be useless if it covers only one street in Taiwan.

So, how is T Star Taiwan's coverage?

Regarding general availability, T Star Taiwan has an availability score of 98.9% (together with Chunghwa Telecom).

Ahead of GT Mobile Taiwan (98.2%) but behind Taiwan Mobile (99%) and Far EasTone (99.2%).

Taiwan Opensignal 4G LTE Availability

But with score of more than 98%, all Taiwanese mobile operators have excellent availability anyway.

When looking at 5G NR availability, T Star Taiwan has the worst availability (21.8%). Behind Chunghwa Telecom (22.9%), Taiwan Mobile (23.3) & far behind Far EasTone (38.7%).

If you wonder why GT Mobile Taiwan is not on the list, Far EasTone and GT Mobile Taiwan share the same 5G NR network @ 3500 MHz (n78 – ahead of the merger) – so there you go 😜.

When we look at 5G NR reach, T Star Taiwan is also the worst, with a reach score of 4.3 (on a 10-point scale).

Behind Chunghwa Telecom (5.3), Taiwan Mobile (6) & Far EasTone (6.9).

So far, I have been talking about coverage from other reports, but what was my coverage experience with T Star Taiwan?

It was great, but not excellent as with Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile & Far EasTone.

I was on 3G a bit more often than I wanted to (in urban areas) and than the three mobile operators above.

Unlike most countries I visit, I also spend much time in non-touristy areas in Taiwan (because I had a full year here).

In most cases, I was still connected to 4G/LTE.

However, expect your phone to switch to 3G or have no reception at all when you are on the train (especially on the high-speed train (HSR)).

There is one exception: Pingtung and Taitung counties.

If you take the train from the west to the east, the train will go through a few mountains (the view is amazing, by the way).

You will barely have reception in these sections – and it starts from Fangshan until Taimali (which takes 1:30 hours to 2:30 hours, depending on the train you take).

Pingtung to Taitung by Train

Yes, there are other stations between those Fangshan and Taimali.

But there is a big chance your train will not stop at most of them, meaning your phone does not have enough time to reconnect to the network.

And even though the train leaves the tunnels every now and then, you still will not have enough time to reconnect to the network.

I cannot speak of how reception will be when you take the car from Pingtung to Taitung (because I could not drive back then).

It may be better than on the train because most of the roads do not go through tunnels.

Below is T Star Taiwan's coverage map on the mainland and Penghu County (the island on the left/west of the mainland) produced by Speedtest:

Below are the coverage maps on the Kinmen Islands (Jincheng – on the left) and the Matsu Islands (Lienchiang + Dongju, Nangan & Xiju – on the right):


How to Get a T Star Taiwan SIM Card & Prices

I would discourage you from buying a SIM card at airports in most countries.

Either becaue of (overly) expensive tourist SIM cards are sold there, or the salespeople jack up the prices with high “minimum top-ups” or because they simply can.

While getting a SIM card at the airport can be convenient, especially when you arrive late or need to be connected as soon as possible, it is often (way) cheaper to buy SIM cards in town.

In Taiwan, however, things are a bit different – I recommend buying Taiwanese SIM cards, including T Star Taiwan, at the airport.

I would almost demand you to do so… but that would be too pushy 😜.

Not only are the SIM cards sold at airports of amazing value, but it can also be a challenge to get a prepaid SIM card as a tourist (visa-free or tourist visa).

That is because most stores either do not deal with prepaid SIM cards or do not deal with tourists (not that they would shoo you away, but they can only assist those with a (temporary) resident visa, like students).

So, what is up with these airport SIM cards that I am so hyped about?

T Star Taiwan SIM cards sold at airports feature truly unlimited data.

Yeah, right… unlimited? Just like in Malaysia, where “unlimited” means “unlimited” until you hit the 3 GB/10 GB/30 GB Fair Use quota?

No… actually unlimited – no fair use limit.

How am I so sure? Because I used T Star Taiwan in ten counties (state, province, parish, territory, region – you get it) and never experienced any data or speed caps.

I used more than 100 GB with T Star Taiwan and experienced no data speed drops or being cut off the network.

Yeah, this puts all those countries with “unlimited” data plans or SIM cards to shame (like Malaysia, smh 🙄).

Okay, that is enough hyping up – let's go through the process of buying a T Star Taiwan SIM card.

First, you need to know that T Star Taiwan has stores at Taoyuan – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) only (so not even at Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) or Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA).

This applies to Far EasTone and GT Mobile Taiwan – Taiwan Mobile is also available at Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH).

The same applies to Chunghwa Telecom, but it also has booths at Taichung International Airport (RMQ) and Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA).

While I know an airport like Tainan Airport also has international connections, it is not considered an international airport by the Republic of China Civil Aeronautics Administration… and no SIM cards are sold there anyway 🤪.

At Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, you have at least three booths selling T Star Taiwan SIM cards.

Just know that the resellers sell T Star Taiwan SIM cards for the same prices T Star Taiwan retailers.

Speaking of prices… how much do T Star Taiwan SIM cards actually cost?

T Star Taiwan SIM cards are sold between 250 NTD to 5000 NTD.

T Star Taiwan has two variants for the tourist SIM cards: 4G Taiwan Card & 5G Taiwan Card.

The following ten T Star 4G Taiwan Cards are available:

PriceCreditDataValidity
250 NTD100 NTDUnlimited3 days
250 NTD50 NTDUnlimited5 days
450 NTD120 NTDUnlimited7 days
450 NTD100 NTDUnlimited10 days
950 NTD300 NTDUnlimited30 days
1600 NTD 1N/AUnlimited60 days
2000 NTD 1N/AUnlimited90 days
2700 NTD1000 NTDUnlimited90 days
3000 NTD 1100 NTDUnlimited6 months
5000 NTD 1100 NTDUnlimited12 months

1 not advertised online

The 4G unlimited SIM cards include truly unlimited data.

T Star Taiwan 4G LTE Tourist SIM Cards

But… more plans are available, which are not advertised anywhere else, except for at the airport (as highlighted earlier).

This is also a good moment to inform you that T Star Taiwan tourist SIM cards cannot be extended (not even by topping up).

So if you know you want to explore Taiwan for several months, it is recommended (and cheaper) to go for a multi-month SIM card outright instead of buying multiple short-term ones.

The following three T Star Taiwan 5G Taiwan Cards are available:

PriceCreditDataValidity
400 NTD50 NTDUnlimited3 days
500 NTD100 NTDUnlimited5 days
700 NTD150 NTDUnlimited7 days
T Star Taiwan 5G NR Tourist SIM Cards

Just like the 5G SIM cards, you get truly unlimited data with the 5G SIM cards, but tethering (mobile hotspot) is limited (3 GB, 5 GB & 7 GB, respectively).

Back when I was still in Taiwan, T Star Taiwan was the only mobile operator selling any 5G NR-enabled SIM cards.

Now all Taiwanese mobile operators do (except for GT Mobile Taiwan and Ibon Mobile – the sole MVNO selling prepaid SIM cards).

So I have no experience with them (do not worry – I will be in Taiwan again in 2023; you know I will try out the 5G NR SIM cards 😏).

Be aware that while T Star Taiwan has eSIMs, they are currently not offered to prepaid customers (including the T Star Taiwan tourist SIM cards).

But if you want to learn about all recommended eSIM options for Taiwan, which many Phone Travel Wiz can vouch for too, check out my Taiwan comparison guide.

Buying an eSIM for Taiwan Guide (logos of Airalo, Holafly, Nomad & Xie Xie 謝謝)

When you ask for your T Star Taiwan SIM card, you will be asked for your passport.

That is because SIM card registration is mandatory, as mandated by law.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

A photocopy of your passport will be made, and your personal details will be filled into the system.

Once the salesperson is done, they will ask you to sign a document (in traditional Chinese characters).

Taiwan Mobile Contract for Tourist SIM Cards 1
This is the contract I signed with Taiwan mobile

Afterward, the salesperson will ask for your phone to activate the SIM card and set up the APN settings.

Confirming if your SIM cards work is opening an app (Google Chrome/Safari or YouTube).

So if you normally watch unsavory videos or forgot to change profiles, this is your reminder to do so to not embarrass yourself (I am not speaking of personal experience, but I can already see some… interesting things happening 🗿).

And you are off to go!

Now, let's say you do not care about tourist SIM cards and unlimited data – can you get a regular Taiwanese SIM card at in town, such as a grocery store, convenience store, or T Star Taiwan?

Yes… if you are not a tourist.

When the salesperson checks your passport before photocopying it, they check the entry stamp (and visa) in your passport.

If you have a visa-exempt stamp, like mine below, or a tourist visa, you cannot get a regular T Star Taiwan SIM card.

Dutch Passport with Taiwanses Entry, Extension & Exit Stamps 1

Trust me – I tried. I was in Taiwan for a year.

I was based in Tainan.

One day, I decided I bike to all mobile operator stores in a three-kilometer radius (50+, including T Star Taiwan).

[IMG]

Only three stores could sell regular SIM cards to me (Far EasTone, GT Mobile & 7-Eleven (for Ibon Mobile)).

A FarEasTone salesperson was trying to scam me by charging 1000 NTD for a plan that is usually 300 NTD.

The GT Mobile Taiwan salesperson had to make five calls to figure out what to do, costing me 1.5 hours.

In the case of 7-Eleven's Ibon Mobile, most stores do not have SIM cards in stock (even though the website claims so).

Even then, the staff needs to have time to help you out (most 7-Elevens are busy at all times, except for at night).

Registration takes about 30 minutes too (which involved a few calls too because I was “missing” an extension stamp) – it took me an hour.

You will notice that I have not yet mentioned Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile.

The thing is… it was relatively easy to get a SIM card at a Chunghwa Telecom store.

Many Chunghwa Telecom stores are willing to deal with tourists… but only to sell tourist SIM cards.

And the same applies to Taiwan Mobile, although even more of their stores sell tourist SIM cards – but they are 100 NTD more than at the airport.

One Taiwan Mobile staff member tried to sign me up for a prepaid student plan (a bit cheaper than tourist SIM cards). After making about four calls and consulting with the on-store manager, it was impossible because they could not bend on not having a student visa (but I appreciated her trying!).

Most T Star Taiwan stores do not deal with tourists, but mostly because they do not deal with prepaid customers.

In fact, when I went to T Star Taiwan for prepaid SIM cards, most told me to head to Taiwan Mobile instead.

There were, however, two T Star stores that could sell me a prepaid SIM card.

One said that they had to import one (their words) and that I had to come back the next day (45 min bike ride to this store).

I kept trying other stores, and another one was willing to sell me a prepaid SIM card.

But I already spent two hours trying to get a T Star Taiwan SIM card… and the registration process took another 30 minutes.

You probably do not have so much time to waste, so I do not recommend trying this out yourself (unless you are crazy like I am 🤪).

But once your SIM card has been activated, you are good to go.


T Star Taiwan Plans, Bundles & Offers

You do not have to worry about adding any plans because… you cannot add any plans.

And that is actually a good thing because you get truly unlimited data with T Star Taiwan.

The thing is, T Star Taiwan does have regular prepaid plans, as shown in the screenshot below.

[IMG]

That screenshot is of no help if you cannot read Chinese – lol – but T Star Taiwan offers unlimited data plans to regular prepaid customers as well and plans with a data cap.

The difference between these plans and the T Star Taiwan tourist SIM cards is that the regular plans extend the validity of the SIM card.

Tourist SIM cards cannot be extended – not even when you try to add a regular plan (or even by topping up).

I am not sure if adding a regular plan would succeed on a tourist SIM card (I did not try, and I suggest you do not either 🤪).

But if you add credit and do not use it before the SIM card's expiry, it will be lost – so be aware.

So get a SIM card for the entirety of your stay, and you will be good to go.


T Star Taiwan Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check

T Star Taiwan top-up vouchers are sold in convenience stores, 7-Eleven, FamilyMart & Hi-Life, throughout Taiwan.

While you officially can also top-up your SIM card in T Star stores, most cannot or will not deal with prepaid customers (they will tell you to go to a convenience store instead. But some of them are nice enough to write instructions in Chinese so that the convenience store salesperson can help you out).

Here is an instruction video on how to purchase a T Star Taiwan top-up vouchers from a 7-Eleven Ibon machine:

To top up your T Star Taiwan SIM card, call 123 and follow the instructions.

Send a blank SMS (or whatever, like a dot, if your phone does not allow you to send a blank SMS) or call 123 to check your T Star Taiwan balance.

Note: T Star Taiwan tourist SIM cards cannot be extended, not even when you top up your SIM card.

It will expire at the predefined expiry date, and you will need a new SIM card if you still want to be connected.

The only reason you would want to top up is for more credit after using up your free credit – adding a T Star Taiwan prepaid plan will not work.


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results (in Hualien, Kaohsiung, Luodong, New Taipei City, Taichung, Taipei, Tainan, Taitung, Taoyuan & Yilan)

Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect with T Star Taiwan after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.

But before I share my test results in Hualien, Kaohsiung, Luodong, New Taipei City, Taichung, Taipei, Tainan, Taitung, Taoyuan & Yilan counties, I want to set the stage first and make a small comparison with T Star Taiwan's competition.

The insights I give you are from 2022, while I did the tests back in 2020.

T Star Taiwan is regarded by Speedtest as the second-slowest mobile operator in Taiwan in Q1-Q2 of 2022.

With a median download speed of 35.40 Mbps, T Star Taiwan is ahead of GT Mobile Taiwan (35.40 Mbps), but behind Taiwan Mobile (48.07), Far EasTone (64.48 Mbps) & Chunghwa Telecom (71.39 Mbps).

When we look at 5G NR, T Star Taiwan is actually the slowest.

With a median download speed of 139.82 Mbps, T Star Taiwan is slower than (even) GT Mobile Taiwan (264.20 Mbps), Taiwan Mobile (276.38 Mbps), Far EasTone (310.83 Mbps) & Chunghwa Telecom (415.45 Mbps).

As mentioned earlier, 5G NR is available to prepaid customers too.

However, the validity is limited to 7 days, unlike the 4G/LTE variants, which can be valid for up to 180 days.

Okay, those were valuable insights – let's talk about my speed test results now.

As I said, I did speed tests with the Speedtest app in nine cities/counties, which is way more than most of the testing I did (usually in just one or two cities, lmao).

So I will go county to county, allowing you to just read the results of the city/cities/county/counties you plan on visiting.

For reference, I consider an average download speed of 25 Mbps and an average of 10 Mbps upload speed fast enough.

Preferably, download speeds should be 100 Mbps+ on 4G/LTE… but we are not there yet 🗿.

But why these averages?

A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.

Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.

But I will share a secret with you already: you cannot get a download speed of more than 35 Mbps with T Star Taiwan (on 4G/LTE).

And this is not something they will tell you – I only found out after analyzing about ten speed test results, where I noticed that none of them were faster than 32 Mbps in most cases (even when Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone had results of more than 200 Mbps).

I even went back to the airport to talk to the person who sold me the SIM card and asked what was up (because this policy is not mentioned in their terms of service or fair use policy).

He told me that he does get faster speeds (like 80 Mbps at his home – I do not know where that is), but he had a postpaid plan.

So I suspect that T Star Taiwan throttled the speed of prepaid customers (without telling you).

A few times, I looked at the speed test itself and realized that while T Start can achieve faster speeds (the highest I saw was 100 Mbps), you should see the speed drop back to 30 Mbps.

So yeah… that is dishonest 😔 – but I will still share the results with you to see if you can often hit this limit or if you have even slower speeds most of the time.

But I will skip the in-depth analysis and comparison parts because they are irrelevant anyway.

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Hualien County (Hualien City & Xincheng Township)

Hualien County Flag

Hualian County (花蓮縣) is the third-smallest county on the mainland and the sixth-smallest county in Taiwan.

While the county has lovely beaches and mountains for exploration or swimming… it is certainly not an exciting place to be 🗿.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz in a Spring in Hualien City

Anyway, I stayed in Hualien City and visited a few beaches in Xincheng Township (新城鄉 – but I had to turn back because scary clouds were heading in my direction).

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Hualien County:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Hualien City & Xincheng Township

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Hualien County (21.74 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan in Hualien County (37.69 Mbps).

T Star Download at Shunguang Bridge Hualien in Haulien (31.73 Mbps)
Shunguang Bridge Hualien Haulien

For comparison, the best performer in Hualien County was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 70.37 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the worst average upload speed (9.81 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the second-worst again in Hualien County (15.04 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Hualien Pier in Haulien (12.34 Mbps)
Hualien Pier Haulien

Far EasTone outdid all the others in Hualien County (28.78 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Kaohsiung City

Kaohsiung City Flag

Kaohsiung City (高雄市) is Taiwan's second-largest city behind New Taipei.

Yes… Taipei is not even the largest – that surprised me too.

Kaohsiung City is the third-largest special municipality in the country.

It is also one of the more exciting cities in Taiwan – there is so much to do, AND it is cheaper than Taipei.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz in Port Kaohsiung

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Kaohsiung City:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Kaohsiung City

T Star Taiwan had the second-slowest average download speed in Kaohsiung City (23.74 Mbps), with the slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (18.25 Mbps).

T Star Download at Kaohsiung Station in Kaohsiung (32.76 Mbps)
Kaohsiung Station Kaohsiung

For comparison, the best performer in Kaohsiung City was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 97.28 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the second-worst average upload speed (8.83 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the worst again in Kaohsiung City (5.69 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Kaohsiung Airport International Arrival Hall in Kaohsiung (12.14 Mbps)
Kaohsiung Airport International Arrival Hall Kaohsiung

Far EasTone outdid all the others in Kaohsiung City (28.15 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in New Taipei City

New Taipei City Flag

New Taipei City (新北市) is Taiwan's largest city and special municipality.

You may wonder why that is not Taipei… and I cannot answer that 🗿.

Often, you will not even know if you are still in Taipei or New Taipei City, so it does not matter anyway.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz at Treasure Hill in New Taipei City

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in New Taipei City:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in New Taipei City

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in New Taipei City (19.73 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (29.87 Mbps).

T Star Download at Lover's Bridge in New Taipei City (33.6 Mbps)
Lover's Bridge New Taipei City

For comparison, the best performer in New Taipei City was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 87.08 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the second-worst average upload speed (10.52 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the worst in New Taipei City (9.23 Mbps).

T Star Upload at 7-Eleven Cheng Gong Road in New Taipei City (12.02 Mbps)
7-Eleven Cheng Gong Road New Taipei City

Far EasTone outdid all the others in New Taipei City (26.83 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taichung City

Taichung City Flag

Taichung City (臺中市) is the second-largest special municipality and the third-largest city in Taiwan.

If you translate Taichung, it means Central Taiwan… even though it is in the west 🗿.

Unfortunately, there is no city called West Taiwan (that would be Taixi or something).

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz in Taichung City

Unlike the four most populous cities, you certainly want to use a moped if you want to travel around Taichung because everything is spread out.

Back then, I did not have a driver's license yet… and cycling for 30 minutes from one attraction to another in the sun was no fun 💀.

And before you asked why I did not take the bus, they like to take unnecessary detours in Taichung for some reason.

The new Green Line MRT is a nice addition, but it does not really go to the city center… so yeah 🤷🏿‍♂️.

Anyway, let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Taichung City:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taichung City

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Taichung City (23.14 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (33.21 Mbps).

T Star Download at Totoro Bus Stop in Taichung (34.01 Mbps)
Totoro Bus Stop Taichung

For comparison, the best performer in Taichung City was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 94.75 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the worst average upload speed (7.86 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the second-worst again in Taichung City (9.94 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Miyahara Taichung in Taichung (10.84 Mbps)
Miyahara Taichung Taichung

Chunghwa Telecom outdid all the others in Taichung City (26.73 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Tainan City

Tainan City Flag

Tainan City (臺南市) is the smallest special municipality and the sixth-largest city in Taiwan.

Tainan was my base during my one-year stay in Taiwan.

I do not remember why I chose Tainan (it may have been recommended by my boyfriend), but I loved it there.

It is apparently the best city for food, but it is also where old people like to live, according to my young Taiwanese friends.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz in front of the Chimei Museum in Tainan City

At least drivers do not try to intentionally hit you when you are on a bike (unlike Hualien City 💀).

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Tainan City:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Tainan City

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Tainan City (27.94 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (34.30 Mbps).

T Star Download at Datong Early in Tainan (28.59 Mbps)
Datong Early Tainan

For comparison, the best performer in Tainan City was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 115.97 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the second-worst average upload speed (9.23 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the worst in Tainan City (8.15 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Anping Fort in Tainan (14.52 Mbps)
Anping Fort Tainan

Chunghwa Telecom outdid all the others in Tainan City (27.91 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taipei City

Taipei City Flag

Taipei City (臺北市) is Taiwan's fourth-largest special municipality and city.

Yes… the capital city is not the largest in the country.

Not that that is uncommon… it is just unexpected 🤔.

But Taipei certainly has the most and best attractions in the country.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz in Taipei

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Taipei City:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taipei City

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Taipei City (28.38 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (41.09 Mbps).

T Star Download at Rainbow Riverside Park Taipei in Taipei (33.14 Mbps)
Rainbow Riverside Park Taipei Taipei

For comparison, the best performer in Taipei City was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 105.52 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the worst average upload speed (9.11 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the second-worst again in Taipei City (9.99 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Far Eastern Sogo Fuxing Store in Taipei (13.43 Mbps)
Far Eastern Sogo Fuxing Store Taipei

Far EasTone outdid all the others in Taipei City (28.15 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taitung County

Taitung County Flag

Taitung County (臺東縣) is the smallest county on the mainland and the fourth-smallest in Taiwan.

And I am not surprised – there is not much to do in Taitung City besides enjoying the bit of nature it has (Liyushan Park (鯉魚山公園) and Taitung Forest Park (臺東森林公園)).

But I do have to say that The Flowing Lake (台東森林公園活水湖) is stunning.

Taitung City Skyline

And with the airport being so close to the city, you will get rudely woken up between 6:00 and 7:00 because fighter jets like to fly around 🤬.

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Taitung County:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taitung City

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Taitung County (24.42 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (37.91 Mbps).

T Star Download at Laya Burger Zhongshan Road in Taitung (32.82 Mbps)
Laya Burger Zhongshan Road Taitung

For comparison, the best performer in Taitung County was Chunghwa Telecom, with an average download speed of 110.45 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the worst average upload speed (7.86 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the second-worst again in Taitung County (23.26 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Airbnb Nanchang Street in Taitung (12.45 Mbps)
Airbnb Nanchang Street Taitung

Chunghwa Telecom outdid all the others in Taitung County (24.32 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taoyuan City

Taoyuan City Flag

Taoyuan City (桃園市) is the second-smallest special municipality but the fifth-largest city in Taiwan.

And if you think those are reasons enough to visit the city – do not bother; it is boring.

When I told my Taiwanese friends that I would go to Taoyuan, every single one asked why and tried to discourage me.

The only reason one wants to go to Taoyuan is to go to the airport and leave the country – not for fun.

Canceled flights at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in August 2020

Luckily, I was in Taoyuan for an afternoon only as a break from Taipei to Taichung, but even that afternoon felt like a waste – a boring place 💀.

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Taoyuan City:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Taoyuan City

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Taoyuan City (29.62 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (66.53 Mbps).

T Star Download at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 in Taoyuan City (33.52 Mbps)
aiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 Taoyuan City

For comparison, the best performer in Taoyuan City was Far EasTone, with an average download speed of 265.44 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the worst average upload speed (11.13 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the second-worst again in Taoyuan City (14.88 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Taoyuan TRA Station Platform 1 in Taoyuan (23.71 Mbps)
Taoyuan TRA Station Platform 1 Taoyuan

Far EasTone outdid all the others in Taoyuan City (52.42 Mbps).


T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Yilan County (Luodong Township, Yilan City & Yuanshan Township)

Yilan County Flag

Yilan County (宜蘭縣) is the eighth-largest county in Taiwan.

I stayed in Luodong Township (羅東), which is not bad (but I would not recommend anyone going there unless you are nearby).

Yilan City is not too bad either – but it is far from exciting.

I only stayed in the area because the commute from Hualien to Taipei would take too long in one go (it is much faster nowadays).

Yilan City

Let's see how T Star Taiwan performed in Yilan County:

T Star Taiwan Speed Test Results in Luodong Township, Yilan City & Yuanshan Township

T Star Taiwan had the slowest average download speed in Yilan County (25.71 Mbps), with the second slowest being GT Mobile Taiwan (38.95 Mbps).

T Star Download at Ludong Transfer Station in Luodong (33.7 Mbps)
Ludong Transfer Station Luodong

For comparison, the best performer in Yilan County was Far EasTone, with an average download speed of 125.61 Mbps.

In terms of uploading, T Star Taiwan had the worst average upload speed (10.86 Mbps), with GT Mobile Taiwan being the second-worst again in Yilan County (10.86 Mbps).

T Star Upload at Familymart Chunjing Road Luodong in Haulien (14.37 Mbps)
Familymart Chunjing Road Luodong Haulien

Far EasTone outdid all the others in Yilan County (35.24 Mbps).


My Overall Experience with T Star Taiwan – Is It Any Good?

I would not recommend T Star Taiwan because there are way better options out there for comparable prices.

At least getting a T Star Taiwan SIM card was straightforward, and activation was quick.

T Star Taiwan has one of the worst 4G/LTE availabilities and reach in the country, but you will still have reception almost everywhere in Taiwan (but do not expect any coverage around and in the mountains).

Just like all Taiwanese SIM cards, T Star Taiwan offers “truly” unlimited data-featured prepaid SIM cards to tourists, valid for 3 days to 180 days.

And when I say unlimited data, you can use your phone as a hotspot (tether – for other phones or laptops) with no restrictions.

With the exception of the 5G Traveler SIM cards – they feature unlimited data too, but hotspot data is restricted to up to 7 GB).

But one thing T Star Taiwan conveniently forgets to tell you is that your speeds will be throttled to 35 Mbps max (but it is often slower than that).

As I mentioned earlier, when I confronted/asked the person who sold me the T Star Taiwan SIM card two months later, he did not know anything about it because he managed to get faster speeds (on postpaid).

So prepaid customers are unimportant and unlucky to T Star Taiwan, I guess.

In 2023, I will let you know whether T Star Taiwan throttles the speeds of its 5G NR SIM cards too… but I would not be surprised if it did.

Anyway, because of these speed restrictions, T Star Taiwan was often the worst performer in terms of download and upload speeds.

Yes, even useless GT Mobile Taiwan was often (significantly) better.

When taking all the 101 speed tests into account, I had an average download speed of 25.64 Mbps and a median download speed of 28.67 Mbps with T Star Taiwan.

There are countries where 3G can achieve average and median download speeds of sub-30 Mbps 🗿.

While T Star Taiwan has extensive coverage, your “truly” unlimited data plans are capped (35 Mbps),which is not advertised anywhere, you are better off getting another Taiwanese SIM card than T Star Taiwan's.


Taiwanese SIM Card Reviews

As mentioned earlier, I also tried out Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, GT Mobile Taiwan & Ibon Mobile when I was in Taiwan.

You should read those reviews too.

>>> Chunghwa Telecom Review | Taiwan Mobile Review | Far EasTone Review | GT Mobile Taiwan Review | Ibon Mobile Review <<<

Later, I will make a comparison post of the six Taiwanese SIM cards I tried… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).

But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the Taiwanese SIM card reviews.

Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other Asian SIM cards.

Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, T Star, GT Mobile & Ibon Mobile SIM Cards Held by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

Taiwan SIM Card Buying Guide

There are five other SIM cards to choose from in Taiwan besides T Star Taiwan.

I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Taiwan SIM card buying guide.

Buying a SIM Card in Taiwan Guide (logos of Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, T Star, GT Mobile & Ibon Mobile)

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