Motorola will supply WiMax wireless broadband networking equipment to a Taiwanese WiMax licence winner. Taiwan is one of the staunchest promoters of WiMax outside of the US, seeing the technology as a good way to spread broadband internet access throughout the island, which includes remote mountain villages and sparsely populated islands. The government has proposed its M-Taiwan project, to speed up internet mobility and encourage companies on the island to invest more in building products for WiMax, 3G (third generation telecommunications) and other wireless technologies.
Far EasTone Telecommunications, one of the largest mobile phone service operators in Taiwan with 6.4 million subscribers, tapped Motorola to supply WiMax networking gear as part of its bid to topple a local fixed-line rival by taking to the air.
Far EasTone won a licence to build a WiMax network in southern Taiwan. It was the only one of the island's major phone service providers to win one of the licences, edging out its mobile phone service competitors, Chunghwa Telecom, the biggest phone company in Taiwan, and Taiwan Mobile.
The victory over Chunghwa Telecom was especially sweet for Far EasTone, the company's president, Jan Nilsson, said at a recent media gathering. He hopes to use WiMax to gain access to more home broadband Internet users, sidestepping the island's fixed-line telecommunications network, which was built by Chunghwa as a state-run company. Fixed line access remains firmly in Chunghwa's hands despite government efforts to privatize the company and force it to allow greater access to telecom rivals.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Motorola said that competition for the contracts was intense.
Far EasTone plans to roll out its WiMax network in two phases, with the first phase to be completed by December 2007, and the second to be finished early in 2008.