NEW YORK, May 25: Pakistan plans to roll out the largest mobile (wireless) WiMax network, Motorola has announced. Until now Pakistan lacked the infrastructure for widespread broadband.

On Tuesday, Motorola made its first public demonstration of third-party interoperability of its WiMax products. At the WiMax World Europe Conference in Vienna, it showed off a third-party PCMCIA card that incorporates a mobile WiMax chip from Beceem Communications.

According to a report from ZD net, Motorola is providing the country’s Wateen Telecom with an 802.16e-based Motowi4 network. An initial uptake of a million subscribers is expected, with a nationwide rollout to follow.

The deployment is a milestone in the spread of WiMax, a super-fast wireless technology that has a range of up to 30 miles and can deliver broadband at a theoretical maximum of 75 megabits per second. The 802.16-2004 standard, which is used in fixed WiMax networks, is being skipped in favour of a large-scale introduction of 802.16e, which was only recently agreed upon by the WiMax Forum.

“We made the decision 18 months ago to jump over (802.16-2004) and go straight to 802.16e,” Paul Sergeant, Motorola’s marketing director for Motowi4, told ZD net Tuesday. “We’ve been working on it for a while, which is how we’re able to ship so soon after agreement.”

“802.16e leads to a much larger market as it addresses mobility needs, but we also felt it could be just as good a solution for fixed broadband,” he added.

“The market is looking for carrier class (802.16e) solutions that either support mobility from the beginning or can be upgraded,” Sergeant said.

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