EAccess' Semmoto: WiMax will lose the 4G battle

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TOKYO, May 21 (Reuters) - Sachio Semmoto, founder of Japanese broadband Internet and wireless company eAccess Ltd 9427.T, said on Wednesday that WiMax, a new super high-speed wireless technology, will lose the battle to be the fourth-generation mobile standard of choice.

Semmoto, a telecoms industry veteran of 35 years, told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Tokyo that a rival technology, known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), will win the race for 4G wireless networks because many large operators in developed countries are throwing their weight behind it.

Semmoto, also chairman of eAccess, said code division multiple access (CDMA) technology is also likely to fall by the wayside eventually.

“Unfortunately for the sake of the Wimax camp and the CDMA camp, they will become minorities,” he said. “In the telecoms industry, if you become the minority, that’s the end of life.”

Although WiMax counts Intel Corp INTC.O as a supporter, LTE got ahead in the race after Vodafone VOD.L, Verizon Wireless, China Mobile 0941.HK and Japan's NTT DoCoMo 9437.T, have rallied behind it.

Fourth-generation telecoms networks promise to make everything from mobile-video sharing to music downloads speedier.

Semmoto also said Apple Inc's AAPL.O iPhone was a "total failure" in the U.S. market, considering how few of the phones have sold compared with those from rivals, such as Nokia NOK1V.HE.

He praised iPhone's functions but blamed the choice of network. AT&T T.N is the only carrier for the iPhone in the United States.

“If I have a chance to talk to Steve, I’d like to tell him face to face: You made a wrong choice,” he said.

U.S.-educated Semmoto is a director and trustee of Reuters Founders Share Company.

(For summit blog:

(Reporting by Sachi Izumi)

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