WiMAX kit vendor NextWave Wireless will be showing off its next generation mobile multimedia platform this week, demonstrating mobile TV, interactive media services, and digital audio – features it expects to drive the WiMAX market forward.

According to the equipment manufacturer, the opportunities for WiMAX are a “tale of two markets.” Firstly there are the developing countries, which feature heavily in analyst reports along the lines of ‘connecting the unconnected’. But there is also the multimedia arena, which may prove to be the main battleground for next generation technologies.

“When we talk about emerging markets we’re pretty much talking about wireless DSL, which is a definite opportunity but it lacks ‘sex appeal’. The alternative is the multimedia space, where NextWave sees most of the innovation taking place,” said Craig Miller, VP of marketing at NextWave’s mobile products semiconductor unit, speaking to telecoms.com.

NextWave recently announced a joint technology collaboration with Taiwanese WiMAX operator Global Mobile Corporation. The companies will set up a WiMAX field trial that will provide Global Mobile’s end users with a next generation mobile multimedia experience, including mobile TV, interactive media services, and digital audio. The trial, taking place in Taipei, will be powered by NextWave’s MXtv mobile multicast and broadcast technology platform and WiMAX infrastructure equipment, including the V5 base station and Access Service Network (ASN) gateway platform.

“Multimedia is crucial to the value proposition,” said Miller, highlighting such functionality as DVR-like services with time and place shifting, and personalised advertising.

As part of the initiative, Global Mobile and NextWave will also identify and plan for WiMAX-based devices designed around NextWave’s “No Compromise” NW2000 chipsets. These devices will be in form factors that consumers are familiar and comfortable with – from fixed customer premises equipment, personal computers, mobile handsets and consumer electronics devices, including personal media players, mobile internet devices, portable navigation devices, among others.

NextWave recently teamed up with Taiwanese handset OEM dmedia to begin development on a mobile WiMAX device that will debut in the first half of next year. Some of the devices will be demonstrated at the NextWave stand, showing off support for the company’s MXtv mobile broadcast service, streaming video, video conferencing, and VoIP.