Wednesday 21 April 2010

The WiMAX taxis of Taiwan

LTE wont be coming to Taiwan until 2017. In fact, I am hoping that LTE-A would be available by then and Taiwan can skip LTE completely.

Taiwan is pushing WiMAX as a lot of small manufacturers based in Taiwan jumped in the WiMAX bandwagon at its peak. The main advantage with WiMAX being that there is no legacy GSM/UMTS baggage so the things are relatively simple. Having said that, this is also the main reason operators have not embraced the WiMAX technology.

See the Video above before reading the report from Telecom Asia below:

I’ve been to a number of Wimax conferences in the past few years, but this year’s Wimax Forum Asia show in Taipei marks the first time I could walk out of the conference hall and see a demo of Wimax in action.
As Telecom Asia reported last month, Vmax has launched a Wimax service in the capital, offering connectivity to 1,000 taxis.
I managed to catch one of them. The Wimax set-up featured a GPS-enabled touchscreen MID mounted on the back of the front passenger seat. Among other things, I could access a real-time navigation app that also displayed our driving speed, and – of course – streaming music videos.
The video was the real test, and it was YouTube quality – which is to say, acceptable – for the entire 15-minute trip.
If Vmax chief Teddy Huang is right about the service yielding “much more” than NT$500-NT$600 in ARPU per user, it’s not a bad testament to Wimax’s potential to carve out these kind of B2B niche services.
Or to allow users to come up with their own solutions. Another taxi I rode in had a mounted laptop next to the driver that was running GoogleMaps whilst playing a live local TV channel with good video quality.

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