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top_halfmastIn an earlier post, Unwired Fiji was praised for deploying a next-generation WiMAX network. A loyal reader forwarded me me an email sent out by Unwired that details new services that take advantage of their new network infrastructure and this news should be greeted with much less enthusiasm. Unwired would have benefitted from waiting for the July 17th announcement of the liberalisation of access to the international gateway to  go to their customers with much more attractive pricing terms.

The company has unveiled two new service offerings for business users. Axxcess is a shared solution aimed at small and medium-scale enterprises. SkyFibre is a dedicated option for larger corporate outfits.

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Unwired Fiji has selected Motorola to deploy its next-generation WiMAX network in Fiji. A very positive development. Coming in front of the July 17th announcement, it’s proof that operators are willing to invest in considerable upgrades that expand network coverage and increase performance.

From Communications Direct:

Motorola announced today that it has been selected by Uniwired Fiji to design and deploy an end-to-end 8012.16e-based WiMAX network to upgrade and provide increased capacity to the operator’s existing network for expansion of network coverage and capacity.

In the Philippines, The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has allowed Globe Telecom to ‘make permanent its mobile internet service for post-paid subscribers’. The company offers monthly subscriptions starting at PHP149 (USD3.1), giving ten hours of mobile internet. A low-priced introductory service option is critical for expanding Internet usage in the population.

Governments are reassessing regulations toward telecommunications as they look for investment in next-generation wireless networks. In Vietnam, significant reforms are being put in place, including provisions for foreign-ownership of network infrastructure. According to a  Telegeography update:

… the country’s draft Bill of Law on Telecommunication has been put forward for discussion at the National Assembly Steering Committee. If passed, the bill will allow private companies to build network infrastructure for the first time and will open up the telecoms market to foreign investors, as part of Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In the Asia-Pacific region, there’s a great deal of activity that impacts the deployment of wireless networks and services. Again we see governments taking steps to change policies and increase investment in next-generation networks.  A nation like Vietnam opening itself up to outside investment in telecom infrastructure is a sign of how old attitudes  are making way for new pragmatism.

Alcatel-Lucent and Tatung University have announced the launch of Taiwan’s first WiMAX 16e campus network. The project will foster research and innovation in wireless broadband technologies.

Such deployments are crucial to rolling out commercial services:

“Before deploying WiMAX application services in the commercial market, field testing and evaluation are crucial. Tatung University’s network not only proves WiMAX’s capabilities in real life but also provides a wealth of data as well as an R&D environment for WiMAX developers and research institutes,” said C.Y. Hsu, the leader of Tatung University’s Wireless Broadband Laboratory.

Tatung Infocomm, a local operator, seeks to launch it’s commercial WiMAX offering in the near future. Everyone involved  agree on what is possible over WiMAX:

Tatung University and Alcatel-Lucent are also demonstrating WiMAX technology’s maturity through various innovative, state-of-the-art WiMAX application services, including smart metering, digital video surveillance systems, IPTV, PS3 gaming , IMS, and high-speed video streaming.

The maturing of WiMAX as a technology should mean greater consideration for deployment from operators in the Pacific.

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