Intel still believes in Wimax

Wimax's biggest backer, Intel, is still committed to the wireless technology despite the fast takeup of mobile broadband and the economic crisis.

Intel chairman Craig Barrett has told Forbes.com that Intel is designing chips with embedded Wimax, and has invested $1.6 billion in Clearwire, the first US operator to roll out Wimax networks.

Comparing Wimax to LTE is futile, he said, because LTE won't reach the market for at least two years. "4G is starting to rollout. There are 300 to 400 commercial implementations around the world. Portland [Ore.] is the second city in the U.S. to rollout a Wimax network this week."

But he argued that when LTE does reach the market, vendors should look towards the seamless integration of LTE and Wimax.

"We don't need another Blu-ray and HD battle in the marketplace. If we get a great fourth-generation technology, let's make it seamless and let everybody play with it and let's not have two different versions," he said.

The company remains committed to Wimax despite facing an inexorable slowdown due to the economic crisis. 'Economic conditions notwithstanding, we still believe in Wimax and think it is the preferred 4G solution,' Julie Coppernoll, director of marketing for Wimax at Intel, told Unstrung.

According to Coppernoll, the first Wimax-enabled laptops will launch in early Q1.

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