Intel's done a lot to try to make its Centrino brand not just synonymous with WiFi, but a replacement for it -- and it looks like it might be going down a similar path to stamp its name all over WiMAX. It's already declared the technology a success (before the standard was even finalized), and last month, its VC arm funded a competing maker of WiMAX chips. Now, that same VC unit is putting $25 million into a joint venture with a UK ISP to build a WiMAX network there. The ISP, Pipex, owns a national license for 3.6GHz spectrum, which is what it's contributing to the JV, that will operate using the Intel cash. Obviously the point of Intel's VC group is to seed businesses and markets in which Intel can later profit. But investing in competitors and shelling out to form customers is a pretty drastic approach to building a viable, self-sustaining market, and seems to be one focused more on making sure Intel's name stays attached to WiMAX.
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