Intel, KT push WiMAX out in Korea

Second placed South Korean operator KT has expanded its collaboration with US vendor Intel to drive the adoption of the country’s homegrown WiMAX technology, known as WiBro. As part of the venture, Intel will stump up investment funds and help expand network rollout to five new cities.

In addition to availability in the metropolitan areas of Seoul, Inchon and Suwon, KT will expand its WiBro service to five new cities – Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan- and the expressways of Gyeongbu, Jungbu, Honam and Yeongdong. Service will be switched on in these areas from October 1.

Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organisation, will sink $20m into WiBro Infra Co. (WIC), a joint venture with KT, Samsung and Korean investment firm KBIC, to help accelerate KT’s infrastructure build out.

KT aims to provide nationwide WiMAX coverage by March 2011, serving 85 per cent of the Korean population. As part of this drive the operator is also migrating its WiBro network onto the standard of 10MHz WiMAX channel width that will allow interoperability and roaming with WiMAX networks worldwide. Coupled with better radio planning, this migration is expected to improve the quality of service by up to two times as well as better integration with its WCDMA network and wifi infrastructure.

From this week, Korean customers are able to purchase a selection of Intel-based, WiMAX ready laptops and netbooks from Samsung, LG and Acer, featuring the embedded Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 network adapter.

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