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Saturday December 18, 2010

P1 Wimax is officially 4G

17 December 2010 – The WiMAX technology is now recognised as being a 4G technology by the International Telecommunication Union, and Malaysia’s own P1 is really happy about it. P1 is the only WiMAX operator in Southeast Asia and we can expect to see advertisements boasting that they were first with 4G technology. 

Press Release: Packet One Networks welcomes the decision of the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”) to officially recognise WiMAX as a 4G technology. 

P1, Southeast Asia’s only WiMAX operator on the Board of WiMAX Forum, the leading international authority on the WiMAX movement, received an official letter from WiMAX Forum recently confirming that WiMAX falls within the acceptable criteria for 4G as cited in a statement issued by ITU recently. 

For the most part of 2010, there had been some debate in the industry internationally as to whether WiMAX should be referred to as 4G technology, despite many operators across the globe using the term. The ITU had previously maintained that only IMT-Advanced technologies such as 802.16m were considered to be 4G. P1 and other WiMAX licensees in Malaysia operate on 802.16e 2.3GHz WiMAX. 

During his visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the WiMAX Forum Southeast Asia Regional Focus in November, the Chairman and President of WiMAX Forum Ron Resnick informed local press that WiMAX Forum will be contesting ITU’s definition of 4G as it conflicts with global market practice. Together with Sprint, the U.S. State Department and IEEE (the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology), the WiMAX Forum contributed to ITU’s reversal and clarification on its 4G messaging. 

Michael Lai, CEO, P1 said, “We welcome the clarification by ITU on the 4G definition. Being one of the first WiMAX players in the Southeast Asia region thanks to the foresight of the Malaysian government, P1 is even more determined to progress WiMAX deployment to enrich the life of every Malaysian.” 

In its statement, the ITU said: “Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMAX, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed. 

P1 has invested approximately RM650 million on its nationwide rollout over the past two years and now covers 45% of the Malaysian population. With over 218, 000 subscribers, P1 has the largest network in the country and aims to cover 65% of the population by 2012.

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