Aiming to accelerate WiMAX wireless broadband deployment in Southeast Asian countries, Intel Corporation today announced the Asian Broadband Campaign, an effort that will provide broadband wireless consulting and expertise along with silicon and technical services.
Intel will work with governments, telecommunications regulators, education, health and agriculture public sector agencies and carriers, True Corporation in Thailand and Telekom Malaysia among them, to help them prepare for and conduct WiMAX trials. The trials will test connectivity among key public and private sector groups. Once broadly deployed, the countries hope the technology will help them meet the United Nations Millennium Development goals to eradicate poverty and hunger, expand primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, combat diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development by 2015.
"The developing countries of Southeast Asia have committed to the United Nations that they will work to meet these objectives," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel's Mobility Group. "Intel believes that technology, and specifically WiMAX, can be one of the foundations to help these countries reach these goals. Standards-based wireless broadband connectivity can help enable technologies that can facilitate better education, healthcare, agricultural productivity and incomes while improving small businesses and eGovernment access and technologies that support entire families."
As part of Intel's Digital ASEAN (d-ASEAN) vision of an integrated region of connected villages, provinces, cities and countries, Intel is helping to begin WiMAX trials in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines by the end of 2005. Trials in Indonesia and Vietnam are expected to take place in 2006.
Since late 2004, Intel has consulted with government agencies and service providers on issues including spectrum policy, rural and suburban sustainability modeling, and planning trial deployment strategies.
In Thailand, WiMAX trials are being conducted in the communities of Khorat, Chiang Mai and Roi Et to test services for rural and suburban healthcare, education, SMB incubation, agriculture supply chain integration and other consumer services such as Voice over IP. The trials will help assess technical and commercial viability models using different backhaul and last-mile WiMAX architecture and will be reviewed by international aid organizations as a possible blueprint to use across the ASEAN countries.
A WiMAX trial is currently underway in Malaysia's government administrative hub, Putrajaya. In Kepala Batas, communities of medical practitioners, students and teachers at different remote locations recently tested the uses of WiMAX in the health and education sectors. With these trials the Malaysian government hopes to promote its digital vision to make wireless broadband technologies such as WiMAX more accessible and affordable to more citizens. The ongoing WiMAX trial is expected to help accelerate the rate of PC and Internet adoption and lay the foundation for Malaysia's d-ASEAN vision.
In the Philippines, the government has a goal to increase the use of PC technology in government offices and agencies and establish a nationwide digital infrastructure. They expect to see the deployment of wireless broadband technologies including WiMAX across key sectors of the country before the end of 2005.