Intel sinks $600 million into Clearwire

— 8:59 AM on July 6, 2006

In its bid to push the deployment and adoption of the WiMAX standard, Intel's venture capital arm has invested $600 million in wireless ISP Clearwire. The investment, which Intel says is the largest in its venture capital branch's history, is accompanied by participation from Motorola. Motorola is purchasing Clearwire's NextNet Wireless subsidiary and "participating in the financing round," although the press release doesn't say how much money Motorola is investing. Nevertheless, Clearwire will altogether rake in a cool $900 million, which will go to toward speeding up the deployment of 802.16e-2005 WiMAX networks.

In addition to the investments, Motorola plans to supply Clearwire with wireless equipment, and Intel will push WiMAX on the PC side with its upcoming platforms. According to a report by DigiTimes, Intel has already begun shipping its Rosendale 2 802.16e-2005 WiMAX chip to customers, and volume production will kick in by the end of the year. However, DigiTimes' sources say WiMAX support in Intel's upcoming Santa Rosa mobile platform will only be available as an option due to high cost and sparse coverage.

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