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Reigncom, the company behind iRiver-brand portable music players, announced that it would release a player with game console capabilities with support for wireless broadband WiBro networks, a WiMAX-based technology.

Reigncom reportedly announced yet another team up with Korea’s leading telecommunication operator KT in an attempt to develop a WiBro game device. The player is expected to be launched launching in August 2006, reports Telecoms Korea web-site. No other details of the gadget were released.

This is not the first time when iRiver, who has been losing global MP3 player market share in the recent years, teams up with domestic KT Corp. in order to address the South Korea market. In early 2004 the two companies formed an alliance to jointly develop a portable music player that allows users to download music files wirelessly. The wireless MP3 player was claimed to enable subscribers to KT’s high-speed wireless Internet service “Nespot” to download music files without wires when they are in “hotspots” near base stations.

It is yet unclear what exactly, behind new game, the device from iRiver will offer. Potentially, the product may be capable of downloading music and videos wirelessly providing users entertainment and operators additional revenue streams.

WiBro networks, which are set to launch in 2006, allow to download data at up to 3Mb/s, upload at up to 1Mb/s in the range of 1-5 kilometers around the base station. The implementation in Korea is based on 802.16-2004 and 802.16e Draft3 or later version that provides channel link of more than 9MHz and at least 512Kb/s downlink and 128Kb/s uplink at 60Km/h speed. It is expected that there will be 9 million WiBro subscribers in South Korean by 2011.

While WiBro is not exactly WiMAX, in November 2004, Intel and LG Electronics executives reportedly agreed to ensure compatibility between WiBro and WiMAX technologies.

Various versions of WiMAX allow devices to connect to a network at speeds of up to 70Mb/s in the range of 31 miles around the “access point”.

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