HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 5 smartphone maker, unveiled its first 4G smartphone in Taiwan yesterday in cooperation with two local WiMAX operators.
The unveiling came on the eve of the launch of HTC’s EVO 4G LTE phone in the US by Sprint Nextel. Sprint said earlier this week it expected to begin shipping the EVO 4G LTD for arrival today to customers who pre-ordered the device online.
HTC said it was collaborating with Vee Time Corp (威達雲端) and Global Mobile Corp (全球一動) to supply the HTC EVO Design, a member of the EVO family, that supports 4G WiMAX and 3G technologies.
Global Mobile has begun pre-sales on the Internet of the phone, which will hit stores early next month. The HTC EVO Design will carry a price tag of NT$13,900.
However, no subscriber package has been announced.
“We have been waiting for this phone for so long. Our high-speed network has been idled over the past two years by a lack of sufficient new devices,” Vee Time chairman Richard Lai (賴富源) told a media briefing in Taipei.
“We believe the sale of this phone will help boost revenue and subscribers,” Lai said.
WiMAX technology provides five times faster Internet access than 3G technology.
Vee Time currently has 50,000 subscribers, including those of WiMAX operators Vmax Telecom Co (威邁思) and Tatung InfoComm Co (大同電信). Vee Time’s proposal to merge Vmax and Tatung InfoComm is under review by the National Communications Commission.
Global Mobile expects its users to more than double to 250,000 by the end of this year, from the current 120,000, chairperson Rosemary Ho (何葳玲) said. The number is expected to double next year to 500,000, Ho said.
The HTC phone is the second WiMAX phone offered by Global Mobile, which launched the nation’s first WiMAX handset, made by Gemtek Technology Inc (正文), in December last year.