The KDDI led consortia, UQ Communications, is geared up for commercial launch later this month in all 23 Tokyo wards, Yokohama and Kawasaki with Nagoya and Osaka coming online in June. The monthly flat-rate access fee is noted at 4,480jpy, or about $40, and will be available for free until June 30th. They also indicate that “UQ Wi-Fi” service will be made freely available on the Shinkansen for some commercial clients as of March and all customers as of September. The group, including Intel, JR East, Kyocera and several banks, formed in September 2007 and gained official approval from the ministry for the 2.5GHz spectrum a few months later.
According to this announcement the chips and dongles are supplied via Beceem Communications:
Beceem Communications, a leading provider of Mobile WiMAX chips, announced today that its 65nm single chip Mobile WiMAX solution is used in a number of the devices that are being launched today as part of the 4G Mobile WiMAX market trial by UQ Communications. Beceem’s chips are enabling the USB dongles and PC cards developed by NEC Access Technica, and both companies worked very closely with UQ Communications over the past 12 months to optimize the performance of UQ`s WiMAX network and devices.
Also noted with interest that Beceem Communications received funding, in a somewhat ironic twist, from DoCoMo Capital back in 2006. At any rate, we look forward to surfing around the Yamanote at next-gen. mobile broadband speed real soon!