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TIM & Samsung Test WiBro Network in Italy

Italian mobile operator TIM, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia, and South Korean handset maker Samsung are testing Europe's first WiBro mobile network during the Turin Olympic Winter Games. Developed by Samsung, WiBro is a mobile WiMAX technology that can boost mobile broadband access speeds up to 20/30 Megabits per second. The commercial roll-out of WiBro services in Korea is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2006.

WiBro-enabled phones allow always-on connection to mobile broadband, eliminating connection delays to deliver a service similar to fixed-line broadband. With WiBro, it is possible to place video calls to multiple users simultaneously, send content to multiple recipients simultaneously and consult documents and images stored on the phone while surfing the internet or speaking. The technology reportedly does not suffer from signal quality dropouts, even on fast-moving vehicles.

During the Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Samsung and Telecom Italia will preview WiBro services at Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung (OR@S), Samsung's wireless telecoms equipment technology showcase, and the Athlete Centre. Demos will also take place on a Demonstration Bus driving through Turin, giving a live preview of the potential of these new applications while in transit. Samsung and Telecom Italia have also established WiBro kiosks at Pinerolo and Sestriere.

TIM plans to start rolling out WiBro services in early 2007 with a flat-rate package of convergent services. Telecom Italia plans to begin selling WiBro phones beginning in early 2007.

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