September 2, 2009

WiMax making an imprint in RP

Initiatives are underway to make the Philippines ready for the widespread deployment of WiMax from Luzon to Mindanao, according to top tech executives who attended the recent Cyberpress Forum at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at the A.Venue Mall in Makati City.

WiMax, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is the latest fixed wireless broadband technology to emerge in the market. Backers tout it as a robust vehicle for the wireless transmission of text, audio, and video over the Internet.

Intel Philippines business development manager Carlo Subido said during the forum that WiMax chips are slowly being integrated by the world’s top PC markets.

He emphasized that Intel now has the products to support WiMax connectivity and is coordinating efforts with partner hardware vendors for its smooth and widespread introduction in the Philippines.

On the other hand, Globe Telecom demand management and capacity planning head Bong Gonzales said the company would make WiMax available in most parts of the Philippines by end of 2009.

The exec did not reveal the specific schedules for the rollouts, but listed the various areas where the service would be available: Metro Manila, Rizal, Benguet, Nueva Ejica, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Southern Luzon, Bataan, Cebu province, Bohol, Iloilo, Leyte, Guimaras, Capiz, Negros island, Cagayan de Oro, Compostela Valley, the Agusan provinces, Lanao,Surigao, Cotobato, and General Santos City.

As this developed, Smart Communications public affairs head Ramon Isberto said the operator would support all forms of Internet connectivity as long as it will benefit their subscribers.

In fact, he said Smart has already announced its own deployment of WiMax technology in the country. This, he added, will complement the HSPA upgrade it just announced for its wireless network.

Lenovo Philippines country manager Vicky Agorilla said a number of their mobile units already support WiMax. She said Lenovo would be ready to meet any surge in market demand for computers once WiMax becomes more widely available throughout the country.

Acer Philippines marketing manager Agnes Espino also told reporters that the PC maker would soon introduce into the country its own set of WiMax-enabled products. She explained that their company is now manufacturing hardware that are WiMax-capable.

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