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India awaits WiMAX-ready notebooks

Posted: 19 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel notebook? India WiMAX service? 4G?

At one of India's telecommunication conferences, Sriram Viswanathan, Intel VP and general manager of the WiMAX Program Office, announced that the company is working with Indian service providers and device manufacturers to help bring WiMAX-ready notebooks and netbooks to the India market segment mid-2009. Additional information on specific OEM systems and devices will be announced in the coming months.

Viswanathan also outlined an alliance focused on delivering affordable devices to India community that take advantage of upcoming 4G WIMAX networks.

Established by Intel and the WiMAX Forum India, this group will gather key global WiMAX company participants in India to collaborate with WiMAX service providers, local government and businesses to deliver innovative, affordable WiMAX-enabled devices targeted specifically to meet the needs of the India market segment.

Bridging the digital divide
"This is a very exciting time for India and WiMAX," said Viswanathan. "WiMAX has the ability to help bridge the digital divide with the most cost-effective and highest-performing wireless broadband technology available today. The availability of low-cost devices for end-users forms an essential part of the promise and capability of WiMAX."

In addition to battery-saving new processors for notebooks PCs, over the past six months, the company has introduced new chips for mobile Internet devices, simple netbooks, quadcore products and ultra slim and light laptops that all work best on a high-speed, wireless broadband network. As new networks are deployed, Intel and the WiMAX Forum India will work with the ecosystem to bring innovative and affordable devices to market, meeting the needs of the consumers, and the goals of governments and service providers.

"These efforts are in line with Intel's focus of connecting Indians to the Internet and enable them to leverage its unlimited potential. WiMAX is a major component in Intel's goal to shift the industry and consumers to a "'mobile Internet'." added R. Sivakumar, managing director of sales and marketing at Intel South Asia.

The initial focus will be on 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz devices. Companies will be joined by the Open Patent Alliance and other important ecosystem members to determine device needs, timelines, testing and interoperability plans, and collaborate on cost-reduction programs for fixed, portable and mobile devices. According to the WiMAX Forum, they project there will be more than 27.5 million broadband Internet users in India by 2012.

Anticipation for WiMAX in India continues to grow as the upcoming auction for 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz frequency bands gets closer. In addition to one 20MHz block already allocated to BSNL in the 2.5GHz band, the auction will enable two 20MHz blocks in the 2.3GHz band, and another 20MHz block in the 2.5 GHz band. The availability of WiMAX in India will provide consumers with much needed broadband connectivity across the diverse economic and social needs of the entire population.

"The WiMAX ecosystem, as well as excitement for the technology, has grown significantly over the past five years," said C S Rao, Chairman of the WIMAX Forum India Office. "WiMAX is viewed as the best wireless broadband technology for Indiawith a diverse and complete ecosystem ready to deliver affordable, lightning-fast wireless Internet."

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