Intel puts $150 m in Wi-Fi tech

CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI: Intel Corporation has announced its plans to invest $150 million in companies developing Wi-Fi technology. The investment is another step in the company's efforts to accelerate wireless network deployment.

Wi-Fi technology, also called 802.11, is an emerging and increasingly popular technology that provides high-speed wireless Internet access in many locations around the world, including airports, cafes, corporate offices, universities, factories and homes.

The Intel Communications Fund would invest in companies developing hardware and software products and services that enable easier-to-use and more secure wireless network connections, simpler billing procedures, a more robust network infrastructure and new ways to connect to high-speed networks outdoors and to deliver services run over the network.

Intel Capital, Intel's strategic investment program, has already invested approximately $25 million in more than 10 companies in this space. The Intel Communications Fund, managed by Intel Capital, was established in September 1999 and focuses on accelerating Intel voice and data communications initiatives.

The $500 million fund will devote $150 million specifically for investment in Wi-Fi companies worldwide. The Intel Communications Fund has made more than 80 investments in 17 countries on five continents. In addition, the company is devoting significant resources and attention to Banias, codename for the first mobile computing technology designed from the bottom up for the unique requirements of mobile PC users.

For the first time, it would include dual band, 802.11a and 802.11b — wireless capability as a standard part of combined chipset and processor technology. Banias would be available in the first half of next year.