Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday that Intel will continue its support for Taiwan’s development of WiMAX, after a meeting with Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini in Taipei.
Ma said the government has released six licenses for WiMAX operators and has invested US$220 million in developing related technologies and applications.
An apparent lack of communication between Intel and the Taiwan government over the closing of Intel’s WiMax Program Office in Taiwan erupted into a media shit storm this summer.
Intel insists it was all a misunderstanding. VMAX launched their commercial WiMAX network in Taiwan in March, and now covers more than 3 million people.
VMax expects to spend around $47 million to expand its wireless broadband services in Taipei through 2010. VMax is also offering mobile access through taxi fleet operators in the Taipei area. The number of taxis having a WiMax-enabled device from VMax may increase to 5,000 at the end of 2010 and to 20,000 a year later.
Five of Taiwan’s licensed WiMAX operators – Global Mobile, First International Telecom (Fitel), Vmax Telecom, Tatung Telecom and Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) are rolling out WiMAX services in Taiwan.
Global Mobile, Vmax and FITEL won licenses for northern Taiwan, while Far EasTone, Tatung and Vastar Cable TV System won licenses for the south. FITEL expected to have 52 Mobile WiMAX base stations operating in Taipei City by the beginning of June. The Fitel deployment is part of the massive M-Taiwan project to unwire the country. Fitel, headed by Charlie Wu, operates a Japanese-style PHS system — personal handyphone system.
VMax expects 40,000 subscribers to its service by end-2010, which may increase to 80,000 in 2011. VMax started its WiMax network on Jan. 26, 2010, covering 85% of Taipei City.
The WiMAX Forum hopes that Clear, in the United States, UQ in Japan, KT in South Korea, VMAX in Taiwan and Packet One of Indonesia, among others, will hang in there and that India will come around.
It may be an uphill battle.
The last, best hope of “4G” spectrum is now going up for auction. Available frequencies in the 2.5-2.7 Ghz band and the “digitial dividend” spectrum, using (now freed-up) broadcast television frequencies are the battle ground.
Traditional cellular carriers now see a TD-LTE standard emerging for the unpaired frequency slots, and appear to have the bucks and the motivation to bid and win TD-LTE solutions.
Separately this week, visiting Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini announced a series of new and expanded partnerships with Taiwan’s government.
Intel announced plans to team up with Taiwan on a cloud computing initiative, setting up a multi-million dollar Internet computing research laboratory there.
Intel said it will work with the island’s National Science Council and a leading Taiwanese university to establish a “cloud computing” research centre with an estimated cost of 23.5 million US dollars over the next three to five years. Intel did not specify the amount it plans to spend.
Intel’s cloud computing initiative uses Internet-based computing resources, sharing software and providing computer power on demand.
Intel’s Cloud 2015 vision has three key elements: a “federated” cloud that allows enterprises to share data across internal and external clouds; an “automated” network that automatically allows the secure movement of applications and resources to significantly improve energy efficiency in data centers; and PC and device-savvy “client-aware” clouds that know what types of applications, commands and processing should take place in the cloud or on your notebook, smartphone or other device – thus taking a user and specific device’s unique features into account to fully optimize an online experience.
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