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Fujitsu Leads Project Team to Deliver WiMAX VoIP Devices to Smile Communications to Serve Developing Countries

A WiMAX VoIP handset based on technology supplied by Fujitsu enables Smile to bring affordable communications to underserved customers in Africa and the Middle East

Fujitsu Semiconductor America Inc.

Johannesburg, South Africa and Tokyo, June 02, 2009 smile

Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited and Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited today announced the realization of the world’s first WiMAX (1)Voice-over-IP (VoIP) (2) phone and service for developing countries, enabled through the creation of an eco-system encompassing mobile carrier, handset, semiconductor and module partners. Fujitsu Microelectronics led technology partners in collaboration with Smile Communications Ltd., a subsidiary of Smile Telecoms Holdings, to produce a ground-breaking VoIP phone and service which are set to revolutionize communications in developing markets by bringing affordable communications to underserved customers in Africa. This low-cost voice service is enabled through voice transmission over Internet Protocol (IP).

Fujitsu Microelectronics will be exhibiting the new WiMAX VoIP phone at the WiMAX Forum Global Congress 09 to be held in Amsterdam, from June 2-3, 2009 (Stand No. 3.22).

Fujitsu Microelectronics was instrumental in initiating and driving the creation of this business eco-system. In addition, Fujitsu Microelectronics is also providing the WiMAX chipset for the VoIP handset. The chipset is a second-generation WiMAX solution consisting of a low-power WiMAX baseband system-on-chip (SoC), triple-band RF transceiver, and an optimized power-management chip including protocol stacks and proprietary connection manager that have proven track records in first-generation WiMAX Forum Certified products.

Smile Communications will deploy the first WiMAX terminals with its network launch in Uganda. “Smile’s vision is to enable consumers in developing countries to communicate easily and affordably and our partnership with the designers and manufacturers, in particular Fujitsu Microelectronics, in terms of developing a low-cost handset that features innovative technological design is instrumental in Smile achieving this vision. Their R&D excellence, rapid design and manufacturing capabilities and strong project management expertise have enabled us to produce a unique product in record time at very competitive cost”, said Irene Charnley, CEO of Smile Telecoms Holdings.

Other key partners for this WiMAX VoIP phone, and their contributions, include the following: Sychip Inc. contributed its mature VoIP silicon and VoIP software stack tailored to Fujitsu Microelectronics’ WiMAX core; FDK Corp. created a small form-factor module for the WiMAX chipset, and I-Sirius Pte. Ltd. provided its expertise in system integration and the development and manufacturing of low-cost communication terminals.

The partners were inspired by a common vision for enabling ubiquitous communication in developing countries, with the result being a fully optimized communication system that is the first of its kind to come to market - a cost-effective, low-power WiMAX VoIP phone optimized for the needs of developing markets. This unique solution combining WiMAX and VoIP allows services to be pioneered in new regions and opens up new markets and uses.

“Fujitsu Microelectronics is proud to be associated with this ambitious and important project to help address the digital divide in areas with great need. The excellent cooperation between Fujitsu Microelectronics, Sychip, FDK and I-Sirius was the key factor which enabled us to meet Smile Communications narrow time-to-market window” said Makoto “Mac” Awaga, general manager, Mobile Solutions Division at Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited.

The first terminal will be a battery-driven desktop phone with Linux OS and simple user interface. Based on the success of this partnership, more dedicated VoIP products including full mobile terminals using the same core technologies, will follow.

  • [1] WiMAX

    The solution here conforms to the IEEE 802.16e-2005 Mobile WiMAX standard.

  • [2] Voice-over-IP (VoIP)

    A general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications as packets over Internet Protocol networks, such as the Internet or other packet-switched networks.

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited (FML)

Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited designs and manufactures semiconductors, providing highly reliable, optimal solutions and support to meet the varying needs of its customers. Products and services include ASICs/COT, ASSPs, power management ICs, and flash microcontrollers, with wide-ranging expertise focusing on imaging, wireless, automotive and security applications. Fujitsu Microelectronics also drives power efficiency and environmental initiatives. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited was established as a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited on March 21, 2008. Through its global sales and development network, with sites in Japan and throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Fujitsu Microelectronics offers semiconductor solutions to the global marketplace. For more information:

About Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited

Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited is a low-cost telecommunications operator providing affordable communications using IP-based, wireless technologies and innovative business models to service the communication needs of low income consumers across Africa and the Middle East, enabling previously marginalised customers to participate in the economic growth of their communities. Smile is at the forefront of creating and harnessing technologies and business methods that enable the cost-effective deployment of communication services to people at the “Bottom of the Pyramid”, uplifting and uniting them by providing a platform from which to bridge the digital divide.

Press Contact - FMA

Emi Igarashi

Phone: Phone: 408-737-5647
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Fujitsu Microelectronics America, Inc.

Company or product names referenced herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: June 02, 2009
City: Johannesburg, South Africa and Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited, Smile Telecoms Holdings Limited