IRiver Readies WiBro Game Player

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Reigncom, the company behind IRiver-brand portable music players, is to work on a game-focused portable multimedia player based on the WiBro wireless Internet standard, the company said Monday.

WiBro can support data transmission at speeds of around 3 megabits per second at distances of about 0.6 miles for devices traveling at up to 37 miles per hour. It's based on the same basic technology as WiMax, another emerging wireless Internet standard, and both are part of the IEEE802.16 family of technology standards. Compared to WiBro, WiMax works over a longer range but not as well with moving receivers.

WiBro Draws Interest

Korean electronics and telecommunications companies have taken the lead on WiBro development and demonstrations of the technology are planned for later this month at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Busan, South Korea. Commercial networks are expected to start in the country sometime next year and Reigncom's planned player will be introduced roughly in line with the launch of the networks.

Reigncom said it will work on the player with KT, South Korea's largest telecommunications carrier, with a view to launching the player in August 2006. No other details of the planned player were available.

South Korea's government expects there will be 9 million subscribers to WiBro networks by 2011. The country had a population of 48 million in 2003.

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