NEC wins UQ WiMAX deal

UQ Communications, a mobile WiMAX operator in Japan, has selected NEC to supply 802.16e base stations.

NEC made no mention of how many of its base stations are to be deployed in UQ’s network, or how much the deal is worth, but it is a big boost for the Japanese supplier’s recently developed PasoWings BS202 mobile WiMAX base station product.

According to NEC, the PasoWings BS202 is the world’s first WiMAX base station equipped with UL-BF (uplink-beamforming) technologies, which are used to improve communications speed and increase base station coverage area by reducing radio frequency interference between base stations and data transmission terminals.

Since February 2009, UQ has been conducting WiMAX service trials in Tokyo (all 23 wards), Yokohama and Kawasaki using some 600 Samsung base stations, which are compliant to WiMAX Forum Wave-2 Phase-2 specifications. UQ says that it has been achieving, on average, 16Mbps on the downlink and up to 3.9Mbps on the uplink during the trials, with a maximum downlink speed of 40Mbps. The Japanese operator, which counts KDDI and Intel among its investors, is scheduled to launch commercial service on 1 July 2009.

UQ has an aggressive WIMAX rollout schedule with a target of achieving more than 90 per cent population coverage nationwide by the end of its 2012 fiscal year (31 March 2013). By that time, UQ says it will have 1,161 cities covered through 38,000 base stations, which includes 19,000 indoor base stations (femtocells). UQ has still to announce its femtocell suppliers.

UQ’s investors initially capitalised the company to the tune of ¥17bn ($170m) but on 30 March 2009, the UQ’s shareholders announced a second round of funding worth ¥30bn ($300m). This sum. UQ says, will be enough to ensure WiMAX rollout across all government-mandated municipalities for network coverage by the end of its fiscal year 2009.

As Gold Sponsor of WiMAX Forum Global Congress, you can hear from K. Jay Miyahara, Corporate Chief Engineer, NEC (Japan) on 3rd June – register today and start arranging meetings with other attendees at  

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