The nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier, Sprint, is currently chomping at the bit to get rid of, what most people consider to be, outdated WiMax technology. Sprint inherited the WiMax technology, which was the earliest thing called “4G” in a convoluted deal with Clearwire. You may remember the regional carrier deployed WiMax networks, with a big investment from Sprint. In the end Sprint ended up taking the brunt of the mostly failed business venture.
While Sprint is trying to shut down it’s US WiMax service and bury it in the ground, alongside iDEN, Intel Capital is betting long on it.
WiMax technology has found a niche in supplying a lower-cost, longer range “broadband” alternative for countries overseas. The problem is, WiMax speeds aren’t the fastest.
Intel Capital recently backed Egyptian telecom startup, Orascom Telecom and Netherlands startup Enertel Holding. Both companies want to use WiMax technology to deploy lower cost broadband internet access.
Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital, said: “These latest agreements build on the foundation of existing Intel Capital investments to bring the benefits of low-cost, high-bandwidth broadband Internet access to consumers around the world.”
This isn’t the first investment Intel Capital has made into Wimax, Electronics Weekly reported that the corporate VC arm has also invested in Pipex Wireless in the UK, DBD in Germany, Unwired Australia, Neovia in Brazil and MVSNet in Mexico.