Intel backs away from WiMAX

Sources in Taiwan say Intel is calling a meeting to dissolve its WiMAX Program Office which it set up to promote the development of WiMAX technologies.

Intel has been banging the WiMAX drum for years now and was instrumental in getting the Taiwanese government behind the technology, which brings wireless connectivity to large areas. It appears the prevalence of Wi-fi - smaller more localised networks which have the benefit of being either chargeable or personalised - has stymied the WiMAX march.

Intel has in place a WiMAX cooperation Memorandum of Undertsanding with the Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, which appears understandably miffed over the development, Digitimes reports.

According to the Taiwanese wire, staff currently twiddling their thumbs in Intel's WiMAX Program Office will be incorporated into Intel's mobile wireless group, PC client group, or sales and peddling support unit, if they can be found something useful to do.

Taiwan's vice economic minister Huang Jung-chiou told Digitimes, that it would continue to promoite and develop WiMax technologies despite Intel's cold feet.

He said he was hopeful other players in the arena would hold fast.

But he did concede that Taiwan-based WiMAX makers do still have an option to migrate to LTE.

Intel has been developing WiMax chips in conjunction with infrastructure partners in the WiMax alliance. Other chip makers may yet jump in to fill the void - there are some.

An official announcement is expected from Intel later today.