Asia Express - Data Communications
WiMAX Development in Asia January 5-11
January 11, 2009
- Taiwan's Vmax Telecom and Tel Aviv-headquartered Alvarion have signed a supply contract, whereby Alvarion will provide Vmax with mobile WiMAX base stations in Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties of northern Taiwan, Commercial Times of Taiwan reported on January 10. Alvarion will supply its WiMAX Forum-certified BreezeMAX 2500 base stations, which will enable Vmax to deliver wireless IP services including voice, data, video, and gaming. So far Vmax, one of the six Taiwanese carriers having obtained a WiMAX license, has spent around NT$1.0 billion (US$30.08 million; US$1=NT$33.25) on procuring WiMAX equipment. Aside from the equipment supply with Alvarion, estimated at NT$400 million (US$12.03 million), Vmax expects to invest up to NT$2.0 billion (US$60.15 million) in future equipment procurement.

- Taiwan's NCC (National Communications Commission) has announced the initial batch of subscriber number prefixes for the six WiMAX licensees, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported. According to lot-drawing results, Vee Telecom Multimedia (formerly known as Vastar Cable TV System), Global Mobile, Vmax Telecom, Far EasTone Telecom, Fitel, and Tatung InfoComm were allotted the prefixes of 0900-0, 0900-1, 0900-2, 0900-3, 0900-5, and 0900-6, respectively. As per the NCC's regulations, each carrier can apply for a total of 100,000 WiMAX wireless broadband access number initially.

- Japan's Okinawa Telemessage has launched a WiMAX network leveraging Florida-headquartered Airspan Networks' broadband wireless access solutions, according to a press release by Airspan. With inception in Nanjo City, Okinawa Telemessage's WiMAX network operates in the 4.95GHz frequency band and is projected to comprise more than two hundred Airspan base stations upon completion. The carrier expects to extend its WiMAX network throughout Okinawa Prefecture, covering over 500,000 households.

- Canada-based Tranzeo Wireless Technologies and Indonesia's TRG (Teknologi Riset Global), a subsidiary of telecom infrastructure provider Indonesian Tower Group, have signed an agreement to jointly develop WiMAX subscriber units for the Indonesian market, TMCnet reported. The two companies will collaborate on the development of 802.16d-based WiMAX subscriber units, which will be incorporated into Tranzeo's total WiMAX solution catering to the Indonesian market.

Meanwhile, Tranzeo has also signed an agreement with contract manufacturer SIIX to manufacture Tranzeo's WiMAX product line at SIIX's plant in Batam, Indonesia. The WiMAX development has seen significant progress in Indonesia recently, as the Indonesian plans to release 2.3GHz and 3.3GHz spectrums for WiMAX broadband services in the near future.

- Hong Kong's OFTA (Office of the Telecommunications Authority) has announced the shortlist of five qualified BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) license bidders, according to a January 3 China Knowledge Online report. Winners of the bid will be able to operate fixed, mobile voice or data, or combination broadband services, including WiMAX. The five companies are China Mobile Hong Kong, CSL, Genius Brand, Hong Kong Broadband Network, and SmarTone Wireless. It is also reported that the Hong Kong government will auction totally 195MHz of wireless broadband spectrums, including 90MHz in the 2.3GHz frequency bands and 105MHz in the 2.5GHz to 2.6GHz bands, on January 12, 2009.