NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Intel will team up with telecommunications pioneer Craig McCaw to jointly develop and deploy portable wireless broadband technology, Intel said a statement Monday.
While specific financial terms were not disclosed, the world's largest chip maker said its strategic investment program, Intel Capital, will substantially invest in McCaw's company, Clearwire.
The investment is part of Intel Capital's $150 million investment strategy to encourage adoption of high-speed wireless networks worldwide.
Clearwire uses a wireless modem called NextNet that can be plugged into a computer or laptop that transmits signals to and from nearby cellular towers instead of using traditional phone lines. The company said this allows users to set up the modem anywhere in the home or office and have a secure connection that is always on.
"WiMax technology has spawned a global community that continues to gain momentum, and we as an industry have achieved some important milestones this past year," said Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Communications Group, in a statement.
"Carriers, equipment makers and solution providers around the world are moving quickly to lay the foundation for building this new global network," said Maloney.
McCaw's Clearwire hopes to set up a nationwide network offering broadband Internet access, with its first service opening recently in Jacksonville, Fla. Customers in the city's Clearwire network simply connect their computers to a NextNet modem and receive Internet access anywhere within the coverage area.
The wireless technology created under the agreement is based on WiMax, a technology Intel (up $0.02 to $21.32, Research) said could work in conjunction with Wi-Fi. While Wi-Fi only has the range to cover homes and offices, WiMax products will allow users to stay connected even if they move laptops and computers around the home or to other locations in a service provider's coverage area.
Also under the deal, Clearwire will use Intel chips in its NextNet equipment.