Intel joins Singaporean gov't in wireless project

Looking to create an environment where users can roam seamlessly between wireless hot spots, Intel Corp. and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) Wednesday signed a memorandum of intent to collaborate on the development of technologies that tie together wireless and fixed-line networks.

The project will also aim to promote the adoption of wireless networking technologies by telecommunications operators in other Asian countries, according to a joint statement.

The announcement comes one week before Intel is expected to introduce the first six versions of its new Pentium M processor for notebook computers and the related Centrino package, which includes the Pentium M, a companion chipset and a wireless LAN adapter.

Under the agreement between Intel and the IDA, which is an arm of the Singaporean government, the joint project, called the IDA-Intel Wireless Hotspots and Network Interworking Initiative, will carry out an internetworking study to explore ways to connect fixed-line and wireless networks and conduct interoperability tests on networking equipment, the statement said. Under the program, Intel will also train Singaporean engineers at its facilities in the United States, it said.

The internetworking study is expected to commence in April with a proposed blueprint for achieving seamless connectivity and roaming capabilities to be submitted to international standards bodies, including the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, the GSM Association, the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Wi-Fi Alliance, next year, the statement said.

Total investment in the program is pegged at S$3.9 million (US$2.25 million), mostly accounted for by manpower and equipment costs, the statement said.

Wireless networking has been a major focus for Intel, which last year allocated US$150 million for investment in companies that develop wireless networking-related products, it said.

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