Fujitsu leads project team to deliver WiMAX VoIP devices to Smile Communications to serve developing countries
Date: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 12:18
Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited and Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited announced the realisation of the world’s first WiMAX Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone and service for developing countries, enabled through the creation of an eco-system encompassing mobile carrier, handset, semiconductor and module partners
Fujitsu Microelectronics led technology partners in collaboration with Smile Communications Ltd., a subsidiary of Smile Telecoms Holdings, to produce a ground-breaking VoIP phone and service, which are set to revolutionise communications in developing markets by bringing affordable communications to underserved customers in Africa. This low-cost voice service is enabled through voice transmission over Internet Protocol (IP).
Fujitsu Microelectronics exhibited the technology that enables the new WiMAX VoIP phone at the WiMAX Forum Global Congress 09 in Amsterdam, from June 2-3.
Fujitsu Microelectronics was instrumental in initiating and driving the creation of this business eco-system. In addition, Fujitsu Microelectronics is providing the WiMAX chipset for the VoIP handset. The chipset is a second-generation WiMAX solution consisting of a low-power WiMAX baseband system-on-chip (SoC), triple-band RF transceiver, and an optimised power-management chip including protocol stacks and proprietary connection manager that have proven track records in first-generation WiMAX Forum Certified products.
Smile Communications will deploy the first WiMAX terminals with its network launch in Uganda. “Smile’s vision is to enable consumers in developing countries to communicate easily and affordably, and our partnership with the designers and manufacturers, in particular Fujitsu Microelectronics, in terms of developing a low-cost handset that features innovative technological design is instrumental in Smile achieving this vision. Their R&D excellence, rapid design and manufacturing capabilities and strong project management expertise have enabled us to produce a unique product in record time at a very competitive cost”, said Irene Charnley, CEO of Smile Telecoms Holdings.
Other key partners for this WiMAX VoIP phone, and their contributions, include the following: Sychip Inc. contributed its mature VoIP silicon and VoIP software stack tailored to Fujitsu Microelectronics’ WiMAX core; FDK Corp. created a small form-factor module for the WiMAX chipset, and I-Sirius Pte. Ltd. provided its expertise in system integration and the development and manufacturing of low-cost communication terminals.
The partners were inspired by a common vision for enabling ubiquitous communication in developing countries, with the result being a fully optimised communication system that is the first of its kind to come to market - a cost-effective, low-power WiMAX VoIP phone optimised for the needs of developing markets. This unique solution combining WiMAX and VoIP allows services to be pioneered in new regions and opens up new markets and uses.
“Fujitsu Microelectronics is proud to be associated with this ambitious and important project to help address the digital divide in areas with great need. The excellent co-operation between Fujitsu Microelectronics, Sychip, FDK and I-Sirius was the key factor that enabled us to meet Smile Communications’ narrow time-to-market window”, said Makoto ‘Mac’ Awaga, general manager, Mobile Solutions Division at Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited.
The first terminal will be a battery-driven desktop phone with Linux OS and simple user interface. Based on the success of this partnership, more dedicated VoIP products including full mobile terminals using the same core technologies, will follow.