Intel runs WiMax in Riyadh

Intel is claiming a regional wireless internet first, as its Riyadh office in Saudi Arabia has adopted WiMax technology. This move has been made possible by Integrated Telecom Co. (ITC), the second licensed data services provider in the Kingdom, which started deploying its WiMax network infrastructure earlier this year.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  March 2, 2006

Intel is claiming a regional wireless internet first, as its Riyadh office in Saudi Arabia has adopted WiMax technology. This move has been made possible by Integrated Telecom Co. (ITC), the second licensed data services provider in the Kingdom, which started deploying its WiMax network infrastructure earlier this year. All of Intel’s employees in Riyadh will now use the fixed WiMax infrastructure (IEEE 802.16-2004) on a 3.5GHz frequency, as provided by ITC (which in turn has linked the office via the internet backbone of local ISP Nesma Internet). The result is that staff have access to on-demand, wireless broadband internet access, with which to surf, download and work. “To have Intel’s Riyadh office using WiMax is a reflection of Riyadh’s determination to become a genuine digital city,” commented Intel’s general manager for the GCC region, Samir Al-Schamma. “Saudi Arabia is making major strides to increase IT adoption and grow the technology sector, and Intel is committed to its role as an enabler, working to help provide the latest systems and infrastructure.” Riyadh aims to become the first Middle East city to integrate full wireless capabilities through WiMax, and as such the Saudi Government has become the first in the Middle East to begin issuing fixed WiMax (IEEE 802.16-2004) licenses on the 3.5GHz frequency. “WiMax has the potential to enable millions of people to obtain wireless internet connectivity cheaply and easily. It therefore represents a tremendous opportunity for communities aiming to rapidly harness the benefits of global digital transformation.” added Al-Schamma. Dr. Mohammed Omar, the president of ITC, added: “WiMax is bringing the fixed broadband and mobile worlds together, as WiMAX offers cost-effective ‘last-mile’ connectivity to areas that are too expensive to serve with wired technologies. WiMAX offers a fast track for digital change in Saudi Arabia. We have started installation of WiMAX base stations in Riyadh city for testing purposes and also serving certain immediate corporate customers’ requirements. The results are encouraging and we are looking forward to a wider deployment in the next few months.” WiMax stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections over long distances.

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