Alcatel-Lucent has opened its WiMAX Application and Interoperability Testing (IOT) Center to local Taiwan customer premises equipment (CPE) manufacturers, working with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). The opening follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Alcatel-Lucent and the MOEA, in October 2007, in which both parties agreed to jointly promote the development of WiMAX products. The local WiMAX center is a key element of the effort to establish a robust and mature WiMAX ecosystem in Taiwan.

The center will provide an end-to-end interoperability testing environment for local companies producing communications equipment for businesses and residences and will also leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s global research and development expertise. By providing an environment where device performance can be tested for innovative applications and services, the country’s CPE manufacturers will be encouraged to develop terminal devices that comply with the latest WiMAX standard – 802.16e-2005 – as well as future iterations of the technology. Establishing a testing center in Taiwan will help manufacturers reduce testing costs and time to market.

"Our government encourages multinational enterprises to set up R&D centers in Taiwan, and we are very pleased that Alcatel-Lucent chose Taiwan to build their WiMAX IOT center,” said Steve Ruey-Long Chen, Minister of Economic Affairs. “The commitment by Alcatel-Lucent highlights that the domestic WiMAX development environment is recognized and valued internationally. In the future, we look forward to more sharing of key technologies between international telecom firms and the local manufacturers through the center. This will bridge our domestic WiMAX industry with the world’s leading WiMAX players and further strengthen Taiwan’s strategic role in global WiMAX development.”

There is significant market potential for WiMAX in Taiwan, and the IOT Center stands to play a leading role in realizing that potential, according to Tony Chung, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s business in Taiwan. He also noted that WiMAX is a key element in the Taiwan Government’s Mobile Taiwan (M-Taiwan) program, which is designed to foster the growth of wireless broadband communications across the island by bringing local government and private sector partners together to create the infrastructure for a robust wireless broadband service.