Taiwan, foreign firms sign WiMAX pact

Taiwan will sign a memorandum of understanding next week to work on WiMAX technology and product development with multinationals including Intel, NEC, Nortel Networks, and German WiMAX tester Rohde & Schwarz, an InfoWorld Daily report said.

The InfoWorld Daily report added that the initiative is part of Taiwan's plan to become one of the largest producers of WiMAX equipment in the world.

The island is already positioning itself to be one of the fastest adopters of WiMAX wireless broadband Internet connectivity outside of North America.

Officials see the technology as a good way to spread broadband Internet access throughout the island, which includes remote mountain villages and sparsely populated outlying islands, the report said

Taiwan often signs such agreements with multinationals to stimulate technology development on the island.

Often, such deals offer incentives for companies to build R&D centers on the island focused on a certain technology, such as tax-free status, research grants, rent-free space in science parks, and more.

Earlier this week, officials pledged to spend $1.22 billion to build out Taiwan's WiMAX network over the next five years, including $1 billion for a fiber optic backbone running down the length of the island and $220 million for WiMAX base stations and other equipment, the report further said.