Samsung will test wireless broadband services

Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it has won a contract to supply Sprint Nextel Corp. with equipment to test wireless broadband services known in South Korea as WiBro.

The two companies also agreed to cooperate in developing technologies for WiBro, Samsung said in a release. Other details, including the financial terms of the agreement, weren't disclosed.

WiBro allows wireless devices such as cellular phones and personal digital assistants to transmit data at high speeds over the Internet. Users can carry out tasks like video-conferencing from their mobile handsets even while traveling at speeds up to 120 kilometers an hour (74 miles) in trains or in cars.

WiBro was developed for use in South Korea and is closely related to Intel Corp.'s competing WiMAX technology.

South Korea, where 70 percent of homes have broadband access, plans to launch WiBro services nationwide in the first half of 2006. The global market is expected to be worth US$1.4 billion (Ђ1.1 billion) by 2007, according to industry estimates.

Samsung is the world's third-largest maker of mobile handsets after Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc. U.S.-based Sprinet Nextel is a major provider of wireless Internet connections.

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