Feeds

Intel and Nokia make first step to forming mobile internet axis

Nokia to use Intel's chipset in WiMAX devices

High performance access to file storage

Comment The announcement that Nokia would use Intel chips in its forthcoming WiMAX devices was hardly unexpected, given that the two giants have been working together for more than two years in this area.

But it is still very valuable for Intel to have gained a firm contract rather than just a development partnership, since it has looked at risk of creating a market where, in the early stages at first, other chipmakers would reap the revenues.

More broadly, the Nokia win sets out the strategy that stands the best chance of reshaping the wireless industry in the internet image, with the chief representatives of the PC and the cellular heritage coming together to create a new breed of devices that will be optimised both for broadband web services and for mobility.

Nokia will use Intel's Baxter Peak chipset in its N Series Internet Tablets, the first WiMAX handheld Nokia plans to ship in 2008. Intel, Nokia and Nokia Siemens also announced an interoperability agreement that will ensure interoperability between Nokia Siemens' WiMAX and Nokia devices based on Intel chips.

The main WiMAX products from Intel are Rosedale 2, which is not fully wave 2 compliant but supports both fixed and mobile standards; Montevina, the next generation of Centrino Duo, which will offer integrated Wi-Fi and WiMAX for notebooks and UMPCs, and is supported initially by Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Panasonic and Toshiba; and Baxter Peak, a handset/PDA chipset.

Montevina incorporates the Echo Peak Wi-Fi/WiMAX chipset and also features integrated HD-DVD/Blu-ray support. As an interim solution, designed to seed the WiMAX market, Intel has also developed Dana Point, a single-mode WiMAX chipset that will be placed in PC cards.

Why Intel and Nokia should team up

It has always been logical that Nokia and Intel should cooperate to ensure that their vision of the mobile internet, which has many points in common, defines the next generation of communications. Their conflicts of interest are short term, while their mutual interests are long term and highly strategic.

Previous attempts to join forces, notably in HSDPA PC cards, stumbled on those conflicts – notably Nokia's continuing reliance on the cellco customers, whose business models are threatened by the flat rate, open access approach of the PC/IP world as represented by Intel; and the competition of the two companies to shape the mobile internet device itself, as enshrined in Nokia's Wi-Fi/Linux Internet Tablet and Intel's Ultramobile PC (UMPC) architecture.

On the first count, while the cellcos will remain Nokia's largest customer base for many years, it knows that in the open internet world, its power will be diminished. It will face competition from a wider range of operators with non-traditional models – potentially new clients for Nokia – and they will be forced to adapt to the open web anyway, as 3 and others are doing.

The faster these two developments take place, the better for Nokia, since in the open internet, the brand and functionality of the device hold sway, not those of the bit pipe carrier. Also, it will be able to accelerate its own moves to become a web services provider, with offerings like Music Store and Navteq that can bypass cellcos altogether.

All this puts Nokia in the Intel camp more firmly than ever before, especially in the US where it has failed to gain significant market share or carrier favours. And this could lead, in turn, to a rapprochement as the two join forces to define the mobile internet device architecture, rather than competing on this.

Intel will inevitably dominate the WiMAX laptop market, but in handsets and other devices its success is far less assured, and the support of a Nokia would be a turning point. Intel has failed in cellphones before – and last year sold its XScale operations to Marvell – and even in WiMAX, the specialist chip designers are steering clear of taking on the giant in notebooks, but are exploiting its inexperience in low power gadgets to come up with offerings that look, at this stage, more attractive than Intel's own.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.