Thailand Launches WiMax Trials

Motorola's WiMax technology is being considered as a land-line ADSL substitute.

Advanced Info Service, Thailand's largest mobile operator, conducted field trials during the first quarter of this year for the deployment of Motorola's WiMax WAP-400 platform. The trials measured the performance of applications over WiMax networks and customer usage models in metropolitan, suburban and rural areas.

AIS tested Motorola's WiMax platform with various applications including using the next-generation wireless technology as a substitute for a land line, for content delivery and as a high-speed Internet connection. AIS concluded that WiMax is an effective replacement for land-line ADSL (asymmetric DSL) service providing broadband and other telecom services.

Vikrom Sriprataks, CEO of AIS, in a statement said the field trial results were "outstanding, and it gives us an insight into how we can offer new services through WiMax. Instead of focusing only on technology features, we evaluate how customers apply applications over WiMax network in real life."

Motorola officials said the trials demonstrated that flexible WiMax solutions allow operators to expand service offerings and provide the next generation of personal wireless experience to their customers.

"For markets like Thailand that have a high demand for broadband connectivity, Motorola's wi4 WiMax solutions enable operators to provide broadband services in a cost-efficient and timely manner," Eric Starnes, vice president of Motorola's Sales and Services of Asia, said in a statement.

The AIS service network covers 795 districts throughout Thailand, plus international roaming across six continents. Additionally, the company's indoor coverage has been expanded in both Bangkok and the Thai provinces. AIS' wireless market share is more than 50 percent.

Motorola currently has 19 contracts for WiMax 802.16e deployments and is involved in 80 WiMax deals with customers in more than 40 countries around the world.

In April, Motorola announced its third Taiwan contract in eight months to deploy a WiMax network. Motorola and its partner, UTStarcom, will work with Fitel (First International Telecom), one of Taiwan's major telecom carriers, to develop the network. Fitel won a license to provide WiMax services for northern Taiwan in July 2007 as part of the government's M-Taiwan project.