Six Taiwanese operators showcased WiMAX applications in diverse fields such as emergency rescue and healthcare at a two-day regional trade show that opened in Taipei yesterday.
The applications were on display at the Taiwan pavilion of the WiMAX Forum Congress Asia, which is being held in Taiwan for the first time.
At the Taiwan pavilion, WiMAX rescue equipment was displayed on two dummies dressed as rescue specialists.
“With this equipment, rescuers can send real-time images to a nearby operation center as soon as they arrive at the emergency site,” said James Pao, an executive at Comm Tec Corp, which was commissioned to develop the gear for First International Telecom Corp (大眾電信).
“The equipment can also monitor the rescuer’s heartbeat and body temperature and detect toxic fumes,” he told reporters, adding that the equipment could be used by firefighters, security guards, police and the military.
Another Taiwanese operator, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), showcased a network system that can monitor the health of elderly people who live in remote areas or are not very mobile.
Senior citizens can use the WiMAX device to check their blood sugar and blood pressure levels and transmit the data via a network that would immediately alert a medical team if there are any irregularities.
VMAX Telecom Co (威邁思), another show participant, offered free rides on WiMAX-enabled taxis that allow passengers to surf the Internet or watch online videos.
VMAX also showcased a cellphone-based mobile TV service that provides information on stock markets and sports events, such as the upcoming World Cup.
These advanced applications have yet to take off in Taiwan, said Hsieh Ching-tarng (謝慶堂), the director of WiMAX Forum in Taiwan.
WiMAX Forum president and chairman Ron Resnick outlined the difference between Taiwan and Moscow, where the buzz about wireless technology is quickly spreading among consumers.
He said it would take a while for this type of word-of-mouth marketing to take off in Taiwan, but that when it does, it would help speed up the development of what he described as “fast Internet service everywhere.”
WiMAX is just picking up in Taiwan, but it has already seen rapid growth in many countries in the past year, Industrial Technology Research Institute president Johnsee Lee (李鍾熙) said.
Most of Taiwan’s six WiMAX operators obtained their commercial license from the government between December last year and March this year.
The annual congress, which was held in Singapore in the past two years, attracted an estimated 2,500 people, including operators and component and equipment vendors in the communications field.
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