New World Telephone (NWT) registered the highest growth among Hong Kong's second network operators with a doubling of its subscriber base to 120,000 this year, according to chief executive Albert Wong Chi-chu. The fourth-largest fixed-line operator poses another challenge to dominant operator PCCW, which saw its four main competitors amass more than 830,000 users. The New World fixed-line unit said it had added 60,000 users this year, while No 2 operator Hutchison Global Communications said it added 120,000 customers to 360,000 and No 3 Wharf New T&T 80,000 users to 320,000. New entrant City Telecom said last month it had about 40,000 subscribers. According to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, there were about 3.86 million fixed-line subscribers in September. Taking into account the fixed-line users claimed by the four rivals, PCCW would be left with 3.03 million lines, or about 78.5 per cent market share. A PCCW spokesman said the company would not provide updated fixed-line user numbers until its results announcement next year. In June, it had 3.35 million users. Meanwhile, NWT, which will change its name to New World Telecommunications with a new corporate identity, has become Hong Kong's first second network operator to obtain an external facilities licence in Taiwan. The licence to establish point of presence facilities would help the firm's bid to capture the growing traffic in the Greater China region. It was also seen as a key move for NWT as it seeks to expand into other markets after seven years of building a fixed-line network in Hong Kong. 'NWT is strategically positioned to grow itself into a regional telecommunications service provider,' Mr Wong said. The Taiwan licence will enable NWT to offer Internet access, international voice service and bandwidth resale, without building its own network.