Connect Four - Taipei Launches 4G WiMax Service


Connecting to 4G

Connecting to 4G

Despite the intermittent rain and the onset of the oddly cold weather on 9th March 2010, Taipei continued it's outdoor launch for the WiMax service by VMAX, the WiMax service provider. Wrapped up in winter coats, jackets and other cold weather gear, Taipei journalists and dignitaries gathered in force just outside the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi shopping center's parking lot.

Besides the usual covered pavilion and stage, the parking lot also saw a fleet of yellow taxis that are equipped with Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) for passengers to surf the Internet free of charge while traveling to their destination.

The carpark was filled with yellow taxis all equipped with MIDs capable of accessing WiMax.

The stage is set up in an open area to showcase WiMax's outdoor capabilities.

On stage are (from left to right) Navin Shenoy, General Manager, Intel Asia Pacific, C-K Liu, President and CEO of VMAX Telecom, and Hau Lung-pin, Mayor of Taipei City.

During the show and tell session, guests were presented with demos of using WiMax for virtual conferencing, "instant" news reporting and a show case of the new WiMax devices powered by Intel's processors and chipsets. These notebooks and MIDs feature embedded WiMax connectivity in the form of the second generation Intel WiMax solution codenamed Kilmer Peak, and will also be given away to users who sign up with VMAX's WiMax service plans.

Seen here are a bunch of notebooks equipped with WiMax. They aren't new models per se, just older designs but loaded with embedded WiMax chips. Both Acer and ASUS have retail units available, though Lenovo and MSI SKUs will soon follow.

If notebooks are a little too clunky to lug around, then this gorgeous looking MID will leave you drooling. The MD-9000 sports a 7-inch screen, a Telechip TCC7901 processor, 512MB flash storage and runs on WinCE 5.0.

VMAX's subscription plans seems exceptionally aggressive - they are giving away either an Acer Aspire Timeline 3810t or an ASUS UL30VT for customers who sign on a two-year contract. The special monthly subscription for early subscribers at 400TWD (~S$17) for a 4Mbps (up) / 2Mbps (down) connection seems extremely affordable. Customers who don't want to be tied to a contract can opt to purchase the notebooks at just 2500TWD (~S$110) which is incredibly cheap by most standards.