Pipex, the alternative telecom provider (by its own admission), has received an important boost for its plans to offer WiMAX service to its customers: It has secured the backing of Intel. Intel has agreed to inject $25 million into a joint venture, called Pipex Wireless, which will roll out a high-speed Internet service across the 10 largest cities in the U.K. and take on mobile phone operators such as Vodafone. The venture will take over Pipex's 3.6 GHz spectrum license and will be able to supply Internet access to laptop users anywhere within a large conurbation.
Pipex said its WiMAX-based network will open in London and Manchester next year, with eight additional cities added in 2008. Chairman Peter Dubens added, "Intel is determined to make Centrino the mobile chip of choice and WiMAX the network of choice." Pipex is a bit on the restless side. Last week it bought entrepreneur John Caudwell's residential phones business Homecall for £43 million and saw its profit rise from £6.2 million to £7.1 million in 2005.
PLUS: HCL Technologies, an IT solutions provider, and Wavesat, a developer of WiMAX silicon, will form a partnership which will use Wavesat's Evolutive WiMAX DM256 Series, along with HCL's WiMax MAC IP and Datacom engineering know-how to develop low-cost 802.16-compliant solutions. The first of several products to be jointly developed by the two companies will be launched in the first half of 2006. Report
ALSO: Siemens' WayMAXvantage solution has been WiMAX-certified by the WiMAX Forum. The product consists of a base station, modems and routers. The company says the product is ready for the future 802.16e-2005 OFDM profile and the ETSI HiperMAN standard. Report
FINALLY: Russian alternative telco Synterra has launched a commercial WiMAX network for business users in Moscow. Synterra plans to invest around $3 million in network development in Moscow this year and $4 million additionally in surrounding areas. WiMAX subscribers numbered several hundred at launch, with Synterra targeting "several thousand" corporate clients by the end of the year. Report