August 19, 2005

Intel Sees WiMax Project Expanded to 100 Cities

NEW YORK -- Intel Corp., the world's largest chip maker, expects to work with more than 100 cities around the globe to improve public services, using the latest wireless technology, an executive said on Thursday.

By working with city governments, Intel aims to develop the market for WiMax, an emerging technology that promises to cover entire cites with high-speed wireless Internet links.

City authorities are seen as some of the primary users of WiMax technologies, the next generation beyond Wi-Fi systems, which transmit wireless data over short distances.

Intel expects to build on its success in single-handedly popularizing the use of Wi-Fi. Since 2003, the company has heavily promoted the concept, working with companies building Wi-Fi network in cafes and incorporating the technology directly into most laptop computer chips.

Anand Chandrasekher, vice president of sales marketing group, said Intel was already helping 13 communities in the United States and internationally on wireless projects using technologies like Wi-Fi and could expand its work in the coming months.

"I would not be surprised if, from the 13 or so concepts we have today, this number grows to 100 or so within the next year to 18 months horizon," Chandrasekher said in a conference call.

He said Intel was working on the wireless projects with such network gear and computer companies as Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc., IBM Corp. and SAP AG.

Cities outside of the United States that are working on the wireless initiative include Taipei and Jerusalem, both of which have plans to test WiMax within a year, added Chandrasekher.

U.S. cities involved in the wireless projects include Philadelphia and Cleveland, which wants to see how wireless can help its city workers such as police and building inspectors do their jobs more efficiently.

Officials in Corpus Christi, Texas are also testing technologies such as wireless video links that could potentially help police and medical workers prepare for emergency situations, Chandrasekher said.


On the Net: