Samsung, Motorola bet big on WiMax
Samsung Electronics and Motorola, which don’t have a significant presence in the Indian telecoms network business, could see a change of fortunes with the advent of WiMax. Executives from both companies said that they were betting on big business opportunities in India, especially as the country is all set to auction spectrum for this technology platform in early 2009. WiMax is a technology that allows the user to access high-speed internet and other data applications wirelessly and is considered a threat to third generation (3G) telecom technology since both platforms are used for similar applications. Currently, all telecom services in India are offered using second generation (2G) cellular technology. Motorola is the equipment vendor behind the world’s largest fully-functional WiMax network run by Wateen Telecom in Pakistan. The US-based telco is also among the equipment vendors behind Sprint’s WiMax wireless broadband data service called Xohm, which when completed, will be the largest such network globally. “The challenges in Pakistan are very similar to that of India. We are well geared to tap the Indian market. We are in talks with several Indian operators for WiMax networks and are open to offering end-to-end services including managing such networks for Indian operators,” Motorola’s top wireless broadband portfolio Ashish Dayama said. Samsung, which missed building 2G networks and is a late entrant in the networks space, aims to leapfrog earlier technologies and emerge as a major player in WiMax. The Korean company is also a key network provider for Sprint. “WiMax is a strategic part of our business. There have been conversations with some large conglomerates in India, which is a key market for global harmonisation of WiMax,” explained Paul Thurneysen, who handles 4G/mobile WiMax Wireless Systems for the company. The company has a clear lead in the WiMax space as they offer handsets, chipsets, electronics as well as end devices and networks and base stations.