Korea Telecom and Intel to Introduce WiBro Laptops and Netbooks

KT Corp. and Intel said Thursday they would unveil laptops and netbooks on Friday which could connect to the wireless broadband Internet (WiBro) service through an embedded chipset.

KT also said it will additionally begin the high-speed WiBro service in the country’s five major cities Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan and express highways beginning October in a bid to expand its WiBro coverage to 82 cities nationwide, which is 85 percent of the population, by March 2011.

The company is currently covering some metropolitan areas such as Seoul,Incheon and Suwon of Gyeonggi Province with the wireless broadband and its WiBro coverage rate stood at 46 percent of the population as of September.

The details are part of KT’s plan to create a mobile wonderland by establishing a total network for its fixed-line and wireless services by 2014. The nation’s No. 1 fixed-line operator in July pledged to invest 5.1 trillion won ($4.31 billion) for the project which is deemed essential with the rise in mobile data usage.

Lee Suk-chae (left), CEO of KT. Corp., and Sriram Biswanathan of Intel hold a news conference on their commitment to improve the country’s wireless broadband Internet service in downtown Seoul Thursday.

“Korea is entering a new era, which means that all networks must be in service to make a mobile wonderland,” said KT’s chief executive Lee Suk-chae, adding that WiBro is in a complementary relationship with the new fourth generation radio platform technology Long Term Evolution.

“Just like a seamless transportation network requiring expressways, railroads and aviation, KT will develop a 3W network with WiBro, Wi-Fi and Wideband Code Division Multiple Access technologies to make Korea the world’s best mobile wonderland,” he said.

KT will also migrate its WiBro network onto the standard of 10 MHz WiMAXchannel width, from 8.75 MHz, to improve the quality of service by up to double.

“The fact that Intel has participated in the project indicates that it could be sold overseas,” Lee said. “We have formed a consortium with 250 billion won with our fund of 65 billion won and the remaining amount from KB Investment, Samsung Electronics and Intel Capital.”

In a related effort, Sriram Biswanathan of Intel, the U.S.-based leading chipmaker, spoke of Intel Capital’s plan to invest $20 million in WiBro Infra Co. for “personal computing continuum.”

This is designed to speed up the deployment of leading-edge wireless broadband networks here.

“The goal is to have a proliferation of all these devices and have a connectivity of these devices,” he said, referring to gadgets like laptops, tablet PCs and mobiles. “That’s the partnership of KT and Intel.”

Source: Korea Herald


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