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Intel recruits Alcatel to co-develop WiMAX kit

Products due H2 2005

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Intel and Alcatel will work together to develop and market WiMAX wireless broadband equipment, the pair said today.

Products arising from the two firms called their "strategic alliance" will come to market in the second half of 2005.

Intel's own WiMAX roadmap calls for the availability of external systems - base-stations and end-user premises receivers - during the first half of 2005. During H2, Intel wants those receiving points to be moved off home and office walls and brought indoors, so it's likely the two will be working on those kind of interior devices.

WiMAX is seen as the wireless answer to today's wired broadband services, particular in locales where suitable wired infrastructure doesn't exist and would prove too costly to implement.

Ultimately, Intel sees receivers being refined to the point where they can be installed inside computing devices themselves, allowing truly mobile broadband. It expects that to happen sometime in 2006. In the meantime, the technology is likely to co-exists with Wi-Fi, 3G and GPRS wireless connections.

Telecoms companies in the UK and elsewhere are already evaluating WiMAX as a way of delivering broadband services to rural areas. ®

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