Intel invests in Malaysian WiMax company

Intel Corp.'s venture-capital arm has taken an unspecified stake in ADA Cellworks Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company that provides radio network planning services. Intel's investment in the company is intended to smooth the adoption of WiMax technology.

ADA Cellworks has helped operators roll out GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) and WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) cellular networks in countries around the world. It plans to use the funding from Intel to expand into planning services for WiMax networks.

WiMax offers the promise of high-speed connections over a greater area than is possible with wireless LAN technology. Fixed-wireless and mobile versions of the technology are being developed, with the fixed-wireless version seen as a replacement for wired broadband connections, such as cable and DSL (digital subscriber line). Intel has invested heavily in the technology, developing WiMax chipsets and planning to add WiMax support to future laptops.

Intel Capital did not disclose the size of the investment in ADA Cellworks, but the company typically invests up to US$5 million when taking a stake in a private company. However, in some cases the company has invested much more. In July, Intel took a $600 million stake in Clearwire Corp., a broadband wireless provider that provides services in the U.S., Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Mexico.

Intel made its investment in ADA Cellworks with MAVCAP, the venture capital arm of Malaysia's Ministry of Finance.

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