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Intel Taiwan rebuts WiMAX withdrawal speculation

2010/08/04 18:50:28

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) The country manager of Intel Taiwandismissed speculation Wednesday that the world's largest chipmaker iswithdrawing its support for the development of WiMAX broadbandwireless technology in Taiwan following a recent office closure.

"We will continue to work with Taiwanese companies in the field,"Jason Chen told reporters at a conference in Taipei in which theworld's first netbook computer embedded with Intel's WiMAX module wasunveiled.

In his first public remarks on the speculation, Chen explainedthe closure in late June of Intel's WiMAX Program Office (WPO), whichwas set up to promote the technology, was "simply a small internalrestructuring plan."

The plan does not signal any change in Intel's commitment toWiMAX, he said.

"We didn't expect that this change would spark such a bigcontroversy in Taiwan," he added.

On a recent announcement by the Taipei Computer Association (TCA)that Intel President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini willvisit Taiwan in October to reiterate the company's WiMAX commitment,the executive said that the visit has not yet been finalized.

Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of Intel'sAsia-Pacific operations, met with TCA Chairman J.T. Wang July 7 toclarify Intel's commitment after the trade group expressed seriousconcerns over the office closure, according to the TCA.

Chen noted that Intel sends a senior executive to Taiwan everythree or four months, which shows the closeness of the interactionbetween the company and its partners in Taiwan.

He added that Taiwan is a major partner with Intel in manyfields, including notebook computers, desktop computers and cloudcomputing, and that "WiMAX is just a very small part of the bilateralcooperation."

Intel has promised to invest US$500 million over five years inthe sector under a deal with the Ministry of Economic Affairs signedin 2008.

In a statement released at the press briefing, Intel-investedVMAX Telecom, one of the six Taiwanese WiMAX licensees, said thelaunch of the new netbook computer that day is the result ofcooperation between VMAX Telecom, Intel and Taiwan's Asustek ComputerInc.

"This cooperation shows that Intel is using this action todemonstrate its ongoing full support of Taiwan's WiMAX industry," thestatement reads.

(By Alex Jiang)