Sat, Jun 06, 2009 - Page 12 News List

WiMAX license holders displaying mobile devices

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese WiMAX license holders are displaying a variety of mobile devices enabling high-speed data transmission on next-generation technology at Computex. These are paving the way for a full commercial launch in Taiwan during the second half of the year.

With support from the government and chip giant Intel Corp, Taiwanese telecom companies and equipment makers are aggressively pushing for the deployment of the WiMAX ecosystem, taking a different path to their global peers, which bet on rival mobile technology, Long Term Evolution (LTE), in developed markets.

Vmax Telecom Co (威邁思) is showcasing notebook computers and Mobile Internet Devices (MID) embedded with WiMAX modules, partly from Taiwanese makers such as Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英電腦), before offering services in the fourth quarter in northern Taiwan.

“We think WiMAX technology will provide faster data transmission for applications like video screening, avoiding annoying time lag that most users experience now when browsing videos or watching TV shows on the Internet,” said James Lin (林鴻榮), a Vmax official.

Vmax is one of 30 WiMAX technologies and service providers worldwide receiving Intel investment. The US chip company has invested US$11.7 million in the Taiwanese company via its investment arm Intel Capital.

In the initial stage, Vmax will primarily sell data cards for notebook computer or MID users to connect to the Internt on the go, Lin said.

It seems it will take longer for users to have Internet access over handsets as only a handful of WiMAX-enabled mobile phones are on display at Computex and some are prototypes such as one running chips by Taiwan’s biggest handset chipmaker, MediaTek Inc (聯發科).

Local WiMAX licensee Global Mobile Corp (全球一動) is showcasing handsets supporting WiMAX technology including a dual-mode smartphone, code named MAX 4G, from HTC Corp (宏達電), the biggest maker of handsets running Microsoft Inc’s system.

HTC has shipped the MAX 4G to Russia’s WiMAX operator Yota, which launched the services in Moscow and St Petersburg on Monday, Global Mobile said.

Global Mobile is set to launch its service next quarter, followed by Vee Telecom Multimedia Co (威達超舜) and the nation’s No. 3 mobile carrier, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), by the end of this year.

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