KDDI to offer HTC WiMAX handset

HTC and Japanese carrier KDDI have announced that UQ Communications, KDDI’s WiMAX services subsidiary, will distribute HTC’s EVO WiMAX smartphone from April this year. It will be Japan’s first WiMAX Android smartphone.

KDDI’s announcement is a move that many view as an attempt to lock horns with NTT Docomo, whose LTE smartphone is also slated for release in the second quarter of 2011.

The HTC “EVO WiMAX ISW11HT” offers up to 40Mbps downlink speed and is compatible with KDDI’s “+WiMAX” offering, which enables fast internet connections and downloads, the carrier said. It was hailed as the first 4G phone in America when it launched there in June 2010 and is also available in the Russian market. As part of the launch, KDDI has said it will waive its “+WiMAX” monthly usage fee of 525 Yen between the release date and August 2011 in order to “allow many customers to use the service.”

HTC and KDDI partnered to offer CDMA Windows Mobile handsets in Japan in 2008 and it is anticipated that the pair will work together on LTE when the carrier completes its LTE networks in 2012. HTC’s LTE devices are offered by Verizon in America and the vendor is currently working with China Mobile to develop TD-LTE technology.

The seventh annual LTE World Summit takes place in Amsterdam on 17th – 18th May.

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