Intel has been pulling out the stops in its attempts to market the emerging WiMAX technology, which has been fraught with coverage and expense problems. One of the largest issues surrounding the system is the fact that it just doesn’t have the coverage that it needs in major centres to be a completely wireless, go anywhere, solution. However, this mornings annoucement of the purchase of a major WiMAX provider in Japan, UQ Communcations, looks to be a promising start.
Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization, invested $43 million (JP ¥4.15 billion) in Japan-based UQ Communications, a provider of WiMAX mobile services. UQ Communications will utilize the funding to continue the nationwide expansion of UQ WiMAX service in Japan, with the commitment to provide WiMAX coverage to 90 percent of the country by 2012.
“Intel Capital’s investment in UQ Communications is one of our most significant commitments in developing the WiMAX ecosystem around the globe,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. “UQ’s WiMAX deployment in Japan is a spectacular example of technology innovation being put to work.”
“UQ Communications values Intel Capital’s investment to help expand our WiMAX service in Japan,” said Takashi Tanaka, CEO of UQ Communications. “We look forward to further collaboration with Intel and Intel Capital.”
Intel has played a large role in the proliferation of the WiMAX global standard. The company has worked closely with computing and communications manufacturers to embed WiMAX-enabled chipsets in devices, and has made significant capital investments worldwide to help service providers build and deploy networks as well as address spectrum and regulatory needs. To date, nearly 460 WiMAX networks have been deployed in 135 countries.
UQ Communications recently launched trial service of its UQ WiMAX in Tokyo’s 23 wards, Yokohama and Kawasaki, and the Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport). UQ Communications will formally launch UQ WiMAX service on July 1.