Earlier this year WiMAX watchers Maravedis were talking up Russia as one of the world's top WiMAX/BWA markets. Some weight was added to this arguments when we hosted a, WiMAX Forum-endorsed and well-attended Russia/CIS conference in Moscow last month. Further evidence of Russia being a key market for WiMAX equipment and device vendors was reported yesterday by telecoms.com, who noted that Taiwanese PDA and handset maker HTC has officially unveiled a dual-mode mobile WiMAX/GSM handset to add to its 'Touch' range of devices using Windows Mobile OS. The first to get their hands on the HTC Max 4G, which is being heralded by its makers as the world's first commercially available device of this type, will customers of Russia's Scartel.
Scartel, currently building out a mobile WiMAX network in Moscow and St. Petersburg and offering services under the 'Yota' brand name, will offer the HTC device to subscribers from November 26th.
According to the telecoms.com piece, for voice, Scartel HTC MAX 4G users "will be able to make and receive GSM calls with any Russian mobile phone network operator; when both callers are Yota subscribers, calls will be routed as VoIP on the Scartel's mobile WiMAX network."
We hope that Scartel and HTC will both be represented at our 7th annual Russia & CIS Com conference (formerly GSM>3G Russia) in Moscow next June when, once again, we will be gathering high level executives from telecoms businesses mainly in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. For companies looking for good business development opportunities in the CIS, this event offers a very convenient one-stop shop for meeting operators of every type and size - fixed, mobile, integrated, cable MSOs and more. An earlier opportunity, relating more specifically to meeting prospects from the CIS markets of the Caucasus region and Central Asia (i.e. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) is our Eurasia Com conference. The next of these will be 31st March and 1st April 2009 in Istanbul. Companies which have already confirmed their high-level participation include: MTS, MegaFon, Kyrgyztelecom, Bakcell, AzEurotel and Megacom.