Intel reiterated its strong support for WiMAX after announcing a fourth-quarter charge related to its $1.6 billion investment in Clearwire. The largest single investor in Clearwire said it plans to take a $950-million non-cash charge for the fourth quarter because Clearwire's stock value has gone below $5 a share.
"Economic conditions notwithstanding, we still believe in WiMAX and think it is the preferred 4G solution," Julie Coppernoll, director of marketing for the WiMAX Program Office at Intel, said in an interview with Unstrung. Intel believes that embedded WiMAX along with Clearwire's pay-as-you-go terms will encourage users to buy WiMAX-enabled laptops even if they don't expect to use WiMAX all the time. It's the same model that grew WiFi.
Intel expects the first wave of laptops with its embedded WiMAX/WiFi "Echo Peak" chipset to arrive this quarter and expects eight OEMs in all to deliver WiMAX-enabled laptops. Some will arrive "earlier in Q1, rather than later," Coppernoll said.
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