Intel beefs up money, support for WiMAX

Intel and KT said they are expanding their collaboration to accelerate the adoption of Wibro branded services based on WiMAX technology in South Korea.

And Intel seems to have the news bug, also announcing that its Intel Capital investment arm will also plough $20 million into Wibro Infra, a joint venture with KT, Samsung and KBIC.

According to Intel Capital, the investment will help accelerate KT’s wireless broadband infrastructure build out.

In addition to availability in urban areas of Seoul, Inchon and Suwon, KT will expand the Wibro service to five new cities – Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan as well as the expressways of Gyeongbu, Jungbu, Honam and Yeongdong.

The new service, which will be rolled out on Friday, will let subscribers access KT’s mobile broadband services consisting of 3G, WiFi and high-speed wireless internet.

KT is also migrating its Wibro network onto the standard of 10MHz WiMAX channel width which is said to allow “interoperability and roaming with WiMAX networks worldwide”.

Coupled with better radio planning, this migration is expected to improve the quality of service by up to two times.

 By March 2011, KT says it’s expected to be the first carrier in the world to provide nation-wide WiMAX coverage with its WIBRO service covering 82 cities in Korea, serving 85 percent of the Korean population.

And the wireless excitement doesn’t end there with KT and Intel announcing they are also working with PC manufacturers to launch the first Intel Core and Intel Atom processor-based laptops and netbooks in Korea featuring Intel embedded WiMAX support. These are based on the Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 network adaptor.

From October 1, Korean customers will be able to buy a wide selection of Intel-based laptops and netbooks from Samsung, LG and Acer, which come with WiMax.

“Intel is committed to leading the advancement of wireless broadband adoptions throughout the world as more devices compute and connect to the Internet,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. “Intel Capital’s investment strengthens our WiMAX efforts in Asia Pacific region, arguably the fastest growing wireless broadband area, and specifically helps KT expand their offerings in Korea.”