The first of the 4G mobile data services to debut in the U.S. was Sprint and Clearwire's WiMAX service. In America, the rollout of WiMAX is still very weak with only a few major cities having access to WiMAX today. Clearwire plans to roll WiMAX to other American cities soon, but the challenge will be to beat LTE to market.
While LTE is the preferred specification in the U.S., WiMAX is a popular service overseas. Intel has announced that it has invested $43 million USD into a WiMAX provider called UQ Communications. UQ recently launched a trial of its WiMAX service called UQ WiMAX in Tokyo. Areas served by the WiMAX trial include 23 wards, Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Tokyo International Airport.
The service will be formally launched on July 1 reports InformationWeek. Intel says that its investment in the company is to help UQ roll out and expand its WiMAX network in Japan. UQ hopes to offer WiMAX to 90% of the population of Japan by the end of 2012.
Intel Capital's Arvind Sodhani said, "Intel Capital's investment in UQ Communications is one of our most significant commitments in developing the WiMAX ecosystem around the globe. UQ's WiMAX deployment in Japan is a spectacular example of technology innovation being put to work."
Intel is offering UQ more than money. The chipmaker is also working with computer vendors and network operators to introduce more computers and devices that can take advantage of WiMAX service. Intel says that its goal is to create awareness and an ecosystem for WiMAX technology.