Will the U.S. soon see a dual-mode WiMAX device?

Last week Russian WiMAX operator Scartel said it was going to start selling HTC's Windows Mobile dual-mode GSM/WiMAX handset, the MAX 4G,  to users of its Yota-branded WiMAX network. The device, which is the first WiMAX handset, will enable voice calls on any GSM network and will switch automatically to VoIP on Scartel's WiMAX network. 

When I was at WiMAX World in Chicago earlier this year, I met with Scartel executives and they showed me the HTC device. It was impressive. Not only does it seamlessly switch between GSM and WiMAX for applications such as VOIP calling, it also has some interesting video and mobile TV applications that I think will appeal to consumers. 

Scartel is certainly on the cutting edge with its Yota service and I wonder how long it will be before we see a similar dual-mode WiMAX device in the U.S.  I'll be exploring the topic of advanced WiMAX devices and applications during a WiMAX Forum-sponsored Webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. EST. I'll be joined by experts Magnus Johansson, director of wireless broadband at Digicel Group and Justin Denison, senior director of strategy at Samsung Telecommunications America.  Be sure to join us for the discussion, we will be taking questions from the audience. Register here.  -- Sue