Asia Express - Data Communications
WiMAX Development in Asia June 22-28
June 26, 2009
- The OPA (Open Patent Alliance), which was established in June 2008 to accelerate the development and global adoption of mobile WiMAX technology worldwide, has issued a call for major OPA members in an effort to set up a WiMAX patent pool, the EE Times reported on June 22. Leading OPA members - including Acer, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Cisco Systems, Clearwire, Huawei, Intel, and Samsung - have selected Via Licensing Corporation as the administrator of the pool. Via attempted to set up such a pool but failed about 18 months ago. The pool, which allows members to use each other's WiMAX patent licenses with reasonable royalty rates, is expected to create a fair IPR (Intellectual Property Right) licensing structure. Meanwhile, Sisvel, MPEG-LA, and Via have been working on setting up patent pools based on LTE (Long Term Evolution).

- Huawei has secured a supply deal with Icon, a Russia-based private investment company, whereby Huawei will supply WiMAX equipment to a WiMAX operator set up by Icon, the Sina Tech News reported on June 23. Icon plans to invest US$200 million into this new WiMAX operator, which has been allocated 3.5GHz spectrum for WiMAX. The operator plans to commercially launch its WiMAX service under the brand name of Freshtel by October 2009 and expects to cover a population of 20 million by year-end 2009. Meanwhile, Icon has also invested US$100 million into HUT, a WiMAX operator in Ukraine, according to the same source.

- Following an announcement made by Clearwire president Barry West during his visit in Taiwan in April 2009 that the company would form a strategic partnership with Global Mobile, Clearwire recently has signed a three-year cooperation agreement with Global Mobile, Taiwan's Economic Daily News reported on June 15. Pursuant the terms of agreement, they will jointly set up a WIMAX IOT (Interoperability Testing) network at Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park. In addition, Global Mobile plans to conduct a test at the end of July and expects to commercially launch its WiMAX service in September 2009. According to the company's roadmap, Global Mobile plans to initially offer its WiMAX service in Hsinchu area and further expand to Taipei and Taoyuan areas. In related news, Global Mobile stated that the company plans to purchase over 300 WiMAX base stations from Samsung by year-end 2009, while choosing Nokia Siemens Networks' solution for WiMAX network deployment.