Samsung's increasing penetration into WiMAX base station market may dent potential businesses for Taiwan WiMAX CPE makers
Harris Lin and Kaddy Chung, Taipei; Steve Shen, DIGITIMES [Monday 29 December 2008]
Increasing penetration of Samsung Electronics into the WiMAX base station market could affect the efforts of Taiwan-based network equipment makers in promoting sales of their WiMAX CPE (customer premise equipment) products, according to Rosemary Ho, chairperson of Taiwan WiMAX licensee Global Mobile.
US-based Clearwire and Japan-base UQ Communications are building up their WiMAX networks using base stations supplied by Samsung, while Taiwan-based Vmax Telecom has also decided to adopt Samsung's base stations for its network, Ho pointed out.
In order to reduce problems related to interoperability testing (IOT), WiMAX operators are likely to favor WiMAX CPE products coming from their respective base station suppliers, said Ho, noting that this trend could affect sales of WiMAX CPE devices from Taiwan makers.
Global Mobile plans to finalize the list of base station and other related network equipment suppliers for its WiMAX network in January, with an aim of launching its WiMAX services starting in the third quarter of 2009 at the earliest, according to the company.
So far, Tatung InfoComm is the only one out of Taiwan's six WiMAX licensees that has been granted an operating license, which will allow the company to kick off its WiMAX services in the first quarter of 2009.
Based on the infrastructure being built by the five other licensees – Vmax, Global Mobile, Far EasTone Communications (FET), Vastar Cable TV System and First International Telecom (Fitel) – the companies will be required to apply to extend their preparation period for providing WiMAX services to March 2010 from the original deadline of March 2009, according to market sources.