A meeting of more than 100 telecoms operators from around the world is being held in Taipei today to set new standards for the next-generation wireless broadband communications system — Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX).
This year’s WiMAX Summit is expected to draw the participation of countries such as the US, Canada, Japan, Russia and Malaysia, which have WiMAX networks, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a recent statement.
Roger Marks, chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 802.16 Working Group, has been invited to host the conference that will seek to lay down a new standard of wireless communications — 802.16m — for WiMAX technology and related telecoms equipment, the ministry said.
Trade talks involving purchase plans are also expected to be held between carriers and Taiwanese manufacturers, including -MediaTek Inc (聯發科), Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), Acer Inc (宏碁), Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), Gemtek Technology Co (正文) and Zyxel Communications Corp (合勤), in view of the fact that about 80 percent of WiMAX equipment globally is shipped by Taiwanese makers, according to local media reports.
A total of 592 telecoms carriers in 149 countries plan to launch WiMAX networks, while 259 units of WiMAX Forum certified products and 62 base station models have been unveiled, according to a report this month by the WiMAX Forum, an industry-led organization that promotes the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products.
The number of WiMAX service subscribers worldwide had increased to 13 million by the end of last year, up from 9 million in the second quarter of last year, according to the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (產業情報研究所).
Industry forecasts have projected that the output value of Taiwan’s WiMAX industry will grow to NT$17.4 billion (US$593.34 million) this year from an estimated NT$15 billion last year.
Taiwan has approved six licences for WiMAX operators. The government has invested NT$6.6 billion in a WiMAX development project that will run through 2013 developing related technologies and applications.
However, US chip giant Intel Corp’s closure of its WiMAX Program Office in June sparked speculation that it was withdrawing support for WiMAX.
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