Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry and Newport Digital Technologies to Deliver E-Learning Solutions and Launch a Low-Cost WiMAX Notebook  

The Institute for Information Industry (III) and Newport Digital Technologies (NDT) announced a collaboration to develop and deliver e-Learning solutions in the America’s and the South Pacific.

Covering over 120,000 students and connecting 1,000 classrooms upon full deployment, the e-Learning network will start with several pilot projects in the South Pacific and expand across several countries in the region. III and NDT will build a WiMAX infrastructure on which to place its eLearning platform, and will provide tens of thousands of students with durable notebooks for accessing the net.

III has developed a DLMS (Distributed Learning Management System) which passes SCORM 1.2 Level 3 and 2004 Conformance Test Suites. III has also developed a Learning Content Authoring Tool — an integrated content editing software which is deployed on III’s ADOC project for APEC, an eight-country project connecting 30,000 students.

Said Ms. Elsie Kao from III’s International Group: “Taiwan has been a major and substantial donor and benefactor in the South Pacific and it’s from this experience and regional resources do we see an opportunity to expand our wireless technologies in the region. How we differ from the OLPC program is that we feel that a wireless infrastructure must first be in place to accommodate the notebook or the program will be a failure, without a reliable energy source, fully functional notebook, and a stable speedy internet connection the potential of the OLPC will never be seen.”

III is collaborating with the largest notebook pc manufacturer, which produces one out of every three notebooks in the world and is expected to start shipping in May 2008. The 7″-LCD notebook will be the lowest-cost notebook available loaded with a Linux operating system, a suite full of applications, a WebCam, WLAN/Wi-Fi, a 512 MB Memory, 2GB Storage, speakers, 2 USB ports, Hi Def Audio and a 4 Cell Li-Ion Battery. So as to achieve the economies of scale for a low-cost release, NDT will channel 350,000 units in North America this year with a suggested retail price of $295. An 8.9″ and a 10.2″ notebook with a touch screen, GPS and WiMAX/Wi-Fi will be released in July and August respectively.

NDT will focus on the distribution of III’s low-cost notebook in the America’s and South Pacific which is expected to generate up to US$75,000,000 in revenues in 2008/09, as well as III’s WiMAX base stations in the South Pacific with over 200 deployments planned during the same period. III will continue to provide NDT with technical support, along with marketing and sales resources for this expansion. Sales are projected to grow by 35% annually during the next three years.

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