ITU: LG Preps Mobile WiMax Devices for '07 Launch

South Korea’s LG Electronics plans to introduce a range of products next year that support mobile WiMax technology, a company executive said at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2006 conference and exhibition in Hong Kong.

The first products from LG to support mobile WiMax will be a version of the company’s XNote C1 Tablet PC and a PDA based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 5.0 software, said Nam Keehyun, manager at LG Electronics’ Digital Media Strategic Planning Department.

Mobile WiMax offers downlink speeds up to 10.2Mbps, which is expected to increase to 40Mbps or so next year. The technology is currently commercially available in South Korea and Japan. The technology is also being tested by operators in other countries, and plans are under way to roll out the technology in the United States and China.

The XNote C1 with mobile WiMax will also include support for third-generation (3G) networks that have been upgraded with high-speed downlink packet access technology, which allows faster downloads. The new notebook will be available worldwide during the first half of the year, Nam said.

The KC1 PDA will also hit the market early next year, offering support for mobile WiMax and code division multiple access 2000-1X evolution data optimized (EV-DO), Nam said. EV-DO is the 3G technology most widely used in South Korea and is also used by U.S. operators.

Prices for the mobile WiMax-equipped XNote C1 and the KC1 have not yet been decided, Nam said.

Looking ahead, LG plans to expand the number of products that support mobile WiMax. For example, the company is considering the introduction of an Ultramobile PC with mobile WiMax support, but such a device would not likely be available before 2008, Nam said.

Telecom World runs through Friday.

-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Singapore Bureau)

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