World's first WiMAX-service MRT trains available in Taipei
Central News Agency
2009-06-03 02:47 PM
Taipei, June 3 (CNA) WiMAX services have recently been made available on Taipei's MRT, allowing the public to try out the world's first mobile broadband wireless access network on a rapid transit system.

In all, eight trains of the Taipei MRT's Muzha Line were equipped with laptops with built-in WiMAX modules -- which enable swift access to the Internet -- to be used by passengers while riding the MRT system, said Lin Yu-hui, a project manager with the Taipei Computer Association, Wednesday.

The WiMAX MRT services, in line with this year's theme of "WiMAX on the MOVE" at Computex Taipei, will be available free of charge for one year from Monday, when the services were launched, Lin said.

Meanwhile, a 23-inch LCD monitor is installed on the front and back wall of each car of the WiMAX service MRT trains to enable passengers to watch various programs, including some that feature the star residents of Taipei Zoo -- its two giant pandas and its Formosan black bears.

"The passengers will also be able to watch live broadcasts of the 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009 after September," Lin added.

The WiMAX MRT services were made possible only with the full support of the Taipei City government, the Industrial Development Bureau, and private companies including Acer and MSI, Lin said.

WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) , a big broadband wireless application, processes data at a speed three to four times faster than ADSL, allowing users to download a 2G film in only 20-30 seconds.

Addressing the opening of Computex Taipei 2009 Tuesday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said it took the city government half a year to prepare for the WiMAX services on the Muzha Line.

"The services marked a giant step forward in infrastructure development efforts to make Taipei City a new wired city," Hau said.

"Taipei City will take part in the Expo 2010 Shanghai under the name of Wireless Broadband Model City," Hau noted.

Also speaking at the opening, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang said a new era of WiMAX commercial operations will soon arrive.

WiMAX, netbooks and lightweight energy-saving notebooks appear to be the three major draws at this year's Computex Taipei, which opened Tuesday in Taipei.

Asia's biggest IT exhibition and the world's leading ICT procurement platform, Computex Taipei will run until June 6 and is expected to attract 35,000 international buyers and generate US$20 billion in business.

(By Deborh Kuo)

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