Intel Capital exteds Wimax investments worldwide

BANGALORE: Intel Capital, the venture capital investment arm of Intel Corporation, announced new Wimax (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access) investments today in Orascom Telecom Wimax Limited. Both deals underscore Intel Capital‘s continuing support for the deployment of low cost broadband internet access through Wimax networks around the world.

Orascom Telecom Wimax Limited is also the first investment from the Intel Capital Middle East and Turkey fund announced in November of 2005.

Both deals are collaborations between Intel Capital and established telecommunications companies which will bring significant experience of network deployment, marketing and operations to the newly formed joint ventures. Orascom Telecom Wimax Limited will focus its efforts on working with governments and companies throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia to obtain suitable spectrum licenses for the deployment of Wimax services.

Enertel Wimax N.V. is targeting the deployment of Wimax services in the Netherlands. In addition to funding and personnel, Enertel is also contributing an existing 3.5 GHz spectrum license to support this new joint venture.

Both new companies will be majority owned by Orascom Telecom and Enertel respectively, with Intel Capital as the lead investor. Intel Capital will also provide access to the significant technical and marketing resources of Intel Corporation.

"Intel Capital is a leader in promoting the deployment of low cost Wimax based internet access" said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital. "These latest agreements build on the foundation of existing Intel Capital investments to bring the benefits of low cost, high bandwidth internet access to consumers around the world and support the vision of a World Ahead that Intel CEO Paul Otellini outlined earlier this month at the World Congress on Information Technology"

Over the past year, Intel Capital has announced investments in a number of Wimax and wireless broadband service providers around the world including: PIPEX Wireless in the UK, DBD in Germany, Unwired Australia, Neovia in Brazil, and MVSNet in Mexico. Intel Capital has also been active in supporting Wimax infrastructure through investments in Navini, a provider of Wimax base stations and modems and Beceem, a provider of mobile Wimax chipsets.

"We see the creation of this new wireless service provider as an incredible opportunity to provide new services to major cities in the Netherlands," says Enertel executive chairman Cees Meeuwis. "Enertel Wimax N.V.will offer wireless access and services through a wholesale relationship with a number of resale channels. This wireless broadband access service will uniquely complement the existing fixed line Broadband Access services already offered in the Netherlands."

"Orascom Telecom Wimax Limited is an exciting first step towards bringing the advantages and opportunity of internet connectivity to the people of the Middle East, and beyond, many of whom have never had such an opportunity before" says Orascom CEO Franco Grimaldi. "Together with Intel Capital, we will work closely with governments and companies in the Middle East and Asia to make this vision a reality."

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