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S. Korea charges four for trading WiBro secrets to U.S. firm

Posted: 23 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:WiBro technology? WiMAX? 802.16?

South Korean prosecutors have indicted four men for stealing technical secrets related to WiBro technologya WiMax variantand trying to sell them to a U.S. firm for about $190 million.

The Seoul Central Prosecutors Office is accusing an unnamed employee of Posdata Co., a developer of WiBro, of sending email with proprietary information to three former employees who live in the United States, according to local media reports on Sunday.

According to the prosecutor's statement, the four intended to sell the information to a company described only by its first initial "I."

WiBro is short for wireless broadband. It was developed by South Korea as a 802.16 variant so that local companies could capture some of the benefits of homegrown intellectual property. Samsung Electronics is one of the biggest system developers of WiBro as well as WiMAX.

South Korea started WiBro trial services last year. Currently, WiBro covers most of Seoul, and is being slowly introduced in other big cities. Universal coverage is some ways away, but the service already covers about 25 percent of the South Korean population, said Hyun-myung Pyo, executive VP at Korea Telecom.

Prosecutors said Posdata employed 170 engineers and spent about $95 million to develop its Wibro technology, and could have lost revenues in excess of ten times that if its secrets were revealed.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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