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Chipzilla sinks $43m into Japanese WiMAX

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Intel is investing nearly $43m to blanket Japan with a commercial WiMAX service.

The chip maker's financial arm, Intel Capital, said today its pumping Tokyo-based WiMax provider UQ Communications with 4.15 billion yen (£26m) to bolster the firm's plans to provide WiMAX coverage to 90 per cent of the country by 2012.

Intel is one of the major manufacturers of WiMAX hardware globally, and by extension, it's among the most prolific pushers of the technology.

UQ Communications recently launched a trial service of its WiMAX service in Tokyo and plans to formally launch at the start of July. The service offers download speeds up to 40Mbps and uploads up to 10Mbps.

The companies said their partnership also includes promoting the adoption of Intel's WiMAX technology to PC vendors and communications manufacturers.

"Intel Capital's investment in UQ Communications is one of our most significant commitments in developing the WiMax ecosystem around the globe," stated Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital.

Despite the financial enthusiasm, Intel told customers last Friday it's abruptly halting production of its 'Rosedale 2' WiMax chipset due to dropping demand in economic slowdown. Final orders for the chipset were taken June 5.

Chipzilla said it would instead be focusing its resources on newer 'Echo Peak' WiMax chipsets instead. ®

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