Intel, ZTE to Expand Global WiMAX Footprint

Intel is advancing its position in broadband
wireless technology with a new development deal in China, the company
said Wednesday.

The chipmaking giant is teaming up with ZTE Corporation to develop
and promote standards and specifications for 802.16-based networks —
commonly referred to as WiMAX — for use around the globe.

Intel and
ZTE, through its ZiMAX Technologies subsidiary, have been working
together for more than 18 months on the project. Now, the companies
said they will work jointly with regional regulatory agencies to
secure enough radio spectrum to make the services exciting enough for
mainstream adoption.

WiMAX supports very high bit rates in uploading and downloading
from a base station up to a distance of 30 miles and is capable of
supporting VoIP , high-speed Internet
connectivity and other IP services.

After some fits and starts
in China, Intel managed to smooth out its WiMAX
development in the country starting with a
contract with municipal
governments in Dalian and Chengdu in June 2004.

For its part of the agreement, ZTE will develop and help roll out
back-end infrastructure and consumer equipment using Intel’s silicon
for WiMAX, code-named Rosedale. The technology is based on IEEE
802.16-2004 (previously known as IEEE 802.16REVd), and the upcoming
IEEE 802.16e standards for mobile networks.

ZTE said it plans to begin initial setup of the 802.16-2004
networks later this year. China, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia
represent the first batch of carriers to test the systems. ZTE said it
plans to conduct field trials of 802.16e networks beginning in
mid-2006.

Intel has said Rosedale should hit the mainstream desktop market in
2005, with notebooks and handsets getting their turn in 2006 and 2007,
respectively.

The system-on-chip technology will include the 802.16-2004 Media
Access Controller (MAC) and OFDM physical layer, an
integrated 10/100 MAC, inline security processing and a Time Division
Multiplexing controller interface.

The ZTE announcement marks the second partnership Intel has forged
this week around the wireless standard. The company
announced a pact
with Telkom, South Africa’s largest broadband provider, hoping to provide
a last-mile broadband alternative.

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