Korean telecoms operators have switched on mobile WiMax wireless internet services in the country's capital city of Seoul.
The commercial service is being seen as a first chance to compare the new wide area wireless internet access system with competing technologies.
Seoul already has several commercial wireless internet services available via public Wi-Fi hotspots, but mobile WiMax offers numerous advantages.
It provides wireless data access speeds of several megabits per second, has a range of more than 1km, and can work inside vehicles moving as fast as 120km/h.
Initial WiBro services will focus on busy central areas of Seoul, university campuses, and major public transport routes around the city.
KT Corporation's basic service will cost from $16 per month for up to 300MB of downloaded data, plus an additional $0.07 per megabyte beyond that, according to an SEC financial filing.
Special introductory prices for the remainder of this year will be as low as $6 per month. KT Corporation will not provide a flat rate access plan, except during this introductory period.
The main competitor for WiBro and mobile WiMax is high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), an enhancement of the existing WCDMA mobile phone technology which is already widely used in Korea.
HSDPA offers similar data speeds to WiBro, although costs for access are expected to be slightly higher.
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