Russia's WiMax Phone

3:30 PM -- Reports are circulating around the blogosphere that the first WiMax-enabled handset from High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) has been spotted. It's the HTC T8290, code-named HTC Quartz, and it is reportedly going to Russian mobile WiMax operator Scartel for its Yota-branded service. (See Scartel Launches WiMax.)

The handset, which has a touch screen, supports GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, 802.11g WiFi, and WiMax.

Sequans Communications announced at WiMax World in Chicago a couple of weeks ago that Scartel will use its SQN1130 system on chip (SOC) in several devices from different manufacturers including a USB dongle, an ExpressCard, a desktop CPE, and a smartphone. The recent leaks on the gadget blogs have given us a glimpse of what the WiMax-enabled smartphone will look like. (See Scartel Uses Sequans.)

Scartel uses Samsung Corp. for the 2.5 GHz network and has so far deployed 150 mobile WiMax base stations in Moscow and 80 base stations in St. Petersburg. The operator expects to have 1,000 base stations installed by the end of the year. Samsung will supply a total of 1,600 base stations to Scartel.

The Yota service launched last month to friendly users.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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