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Intel brings WiMAX to Middle East

Posted by iMark - 2006-03-06

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Intel Corp.’s internal operations in Saudi Arabia has deployed WiMAX broadband technology to support its own communication needs in that nation.

The move is expected to help propel WiMAX in Saudi Arabia as well as the rest of the Middle East, according to the Mena Report, a Middle Eastern newsletter.

Intel’s Saudi Arabian unit in the capital of Riyadh is using WiMAX through Riyadh’s Integrated Telecom Co. (ITC). ITC, the second licensed data services provider in Saudi Arabia, started the deployment of its WiMAX network infrastructure early this year. The Saudi government recently began issuing fixed WiMAX (IEEE 802.16-2004) licenses on a 3.5-GHz frequency.

ITC has linked the Intel office with an Internet backbone via a local Internet service provider called Nesma Internet. This, in turn, delivers Internet broadband services to the company, according to Intel’s general manager for the region, Samir Al-Schamma.

“To have Intel’s Riyadh office using WiMAX is a reflection of Riyadh’s determination to become a genuine digital city,” he said in a statement.

The move follows a visit to the Kingdom last November by Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, who announced a series of initiatives to support Saudi Arabia’s efforts in the information technology sector. Last October, Intel also announced its Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East. The chip giant also announced a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in technology in the Middle East.

Intel is also expanding its efforts in other nations. At the recently held 3rd Middle East Mobility and Wireless Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Intel and Redline Communications pushed WiMAX for use in online video gaming and Voice-over-IP applications.

"The UAE is amongst the countries setting the pace for adoption of new technologies as the region continues to expand and the demands of businesses and residents for connectivity increases," said Al-Schamma.

Recently, Intel moved its Dubai office to Dubai Internet City, a community for hi-tech companies. The move "will help our Dubai team to be closer to many of our fellow travelers in the region as we continue to work with them to develop our business and play a role in growing the IT sector," said Gordon Graylish, Intel’s general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).



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