Intel backs KDDI WiMAX push

Japanese operator KDDI has teamed up with chip giant Intel, the East Japan Railway Company, kit manufacturer Kyocera, Daiwa Securities, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, to invest in and create a joint venture to bid for a WiMAX licence in Japan.

The Wireless Broadband Planning venture intends to bid for the 2.5GHz frequency band for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System (BWA) in Japan.

The company also intends offering these services globally through roaming agreements and also sees a healthy market for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).

In 2006, KDDI carried out Japan’s first WiMAX field trial last year in Osaka. Intel, which plays a role in the development of WiMAX, plans to invest in the joint venture through Intel Capital, with further investment from Kyocera, Daiwa and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

JR East holds extensive infrastructure including 7,500km of railway networks and 1,700 stations.

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