Wed, Jun 06, 2012 - Page 11 News List

High-speed rail to offer 4G WiMAX starting in August

Staff reporter, with CNA

Passengers using high-speed rail services are set to be able to access the Internet via a cutting edge wireless broadband service later this summer, a telecommunications operator said yesterday.

A WiMAX trial run will begin in August, providing a free service for six months, Vee Time Corp (威達雲端) chairman Richard Lai (賴富源) said at a press briefing at Computex Taipei, Asia’s largest computer trade show.

“People will no longer have problems accessing the Internet on the train when it’s going at a top speed of 300 kilometers per hour,” he said.

The 4G (fourth-generation) WiMAX technology gets rid of the glitches in 3G network services, Lai said.

At present, high speed rail passengers using 2G or 3G cellular devices often have reception problems because the train’s speed makes it difficult to achieve a smooth signal transition from one base station to the next.

It would be the world’s first 4G WiMAX service available on a high-speed ground transportation system, Lai said.

The experience and implementation of the Taiwanese technology is expected to be “exported” next year, he said.

Taiwan has six licensed WiMAX operators — Global Mobile Corp (全球一動), VMAX Telecom Co (威邁思), Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信), First International Telecom Corp (大眾電信), Tatung InfoComm Co (大同電信) and Vee Time.

Vee Time has merged with Tatung and VMAX and the group now has 10 million subscribers.

By the end of the year, the figure is expected to top 15 million and to reach 20 million by the first half of next year.

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