Intel: $500M for M-Taiwan  

Intel will invest some $500 million in Taiwan’s nationwide WiMax effort, the company announced Monday.

The M-Taiwan program is aimed at covering the island country with Mobile WiMax. While companies from around the world are contributing to Taiwan’s WiMax effort, Taiwan is hoping foreign countries will base much of their manufacturing in Taiwan.

The Taiwan government and a group of high tech countries said last fall they will invest $664 million in WiMax deployments. The M-Taiwan Program is expected:

  • To improve Taiwan’s penetration rate of mobile internet from the 20th to 5th in the world ranking.
  • To become one of the top 10 countries with the lowest online access fee in the world.

In reporting its $500 million Taiwan investment, Lil Mohan, managing director of Intel’s WiMax program, said the $500 million will be invested over the next five years. “This investment is largely for WiMax,” Mohan told the Reuters news service. “Japan will probably launch the first (in Asia) since they have already invested lots of money.”

Previously, other firms committed to working on its WiMax program included Alvarion, Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, Nokia, Sprint and Starent Networks.

Intel has said 2008 will be the year when WiMax begins to make a major impact. Intel expects to see mobile WiMAX developments later this year in Russia, Japan, and the US, according to the spokesperson.

Earlier this month, Intel announced the creation of a new $500 million China Technology Fund to follow its earlier $200 million fund that invested in China.

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