Start-up mobile operator Vibo Telecom has announced a deal with Motorola for the island-wide deployment of its W-CDMA network, including an upgrade to HSDPA technology. Under the terms of the agreement signed earlier this year, Motorola will provide a UMTS Radio Access Network (UTRAN), comprehensive support services and mobile devices, initially to support three million subscribers. Motorola began shipments to Vibo in April. The deal follows an earlier infrastructure deal with Ericsson, signed in April, under which the Swedish vendor will deliver a turnkey solution for the cellco’s W-CDMA network. The agreement comprises a turnkey solution for core network equipment, transport network and systems integrations, as well as a full portfolio of services such as training, network design, network rollout and technical support.
Vibo had originally hoped to introduce a commercial service in July 2004 under the brand name T3G, but is now targeting a launch in the final quarter of this year. Vibo chairman Rock Hsu said his company’s rollout was slated to coincide with the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) on 1 January 2005, which it hoped would provide a vital leg-up in luring subscribers away from the big three operators, Chunghwa, Taiwan Cellular and Far EasTone, none of which plan to launch 3G until 2006. However, the government’s tardiness in making available a CDMA2000 licence and the non-appearance of MNP has undermined and ultimately delayed its launch.