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Monday, August 17, 2009

WiMAX nationwide by year-end

WiMAX, the next generation platform for wireless and broadband Internet service shall be made available by Globe Telecom Inc. in several parts of the country from Luzon to Mindanao by the end of 2009, according to a leading executive of this telco company.

Globe Telecom Inc. consumer broadband group head Bong Gonzales made the announcement as he spoke recently with members of the Information Technology Journalists Association of the Philippines during this organization’s latest Cyberpress Forum at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Cafe at the A. Venue in Makati City.

Gonzales explained that WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a broadband platform designed from the very beginning for wireless data transmission even as it can also carry voice. Globe Telecom shall offer it as an alternative to DSL and cable Internet connectivity.

Gonzales claimed that when the rollout shall have been completed within 2009, Globe Telecom would have the largest WiMAX network in Southeast Asia.

Gonzales gave out a list of provinces and cities where they would be available not later than the end of this year. He added that connectivity would be available in various packages, including a number that offered subscribers PCs bundled with the service.

Among the provinces and cities listed were the following: the entire Metro Manila, Rizal, Benguet, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Southern Luzon. Bataan, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, Leyte, Guimaras, Capiz, Negros island, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Compostela Val­ley, the Agusan provinces, Lanao, Surigao, Cotabato and General Santos.

Gonzales said subscriber rates would range from P795 to P2,029 monthly; connectitity speeds would start with up to 512 kbps.

Observers of the Philippine technology scene say that widespread Internet connectivity in the country will have to be achieved mainly through wireless platforms. This is mainly due to the country’s archipelagic character and the fact that much of the terrain is mountainous.

The CyberPress Forum is staged regularly several times a year by ITJAP to enable leaders of the information and communications technology community to further discuss issues in their sector of relevance and benefit to the Filipino people. The latest CyberPress Forum discussed WiMAX with executives from the two biggest telcos, together with equipment and computer hardware vendors.

ITJAP is made up of technology journalists from print, broadcast, and online media with members from the major media outfits and trade publications in the country.

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