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Orascom and Intel team up for regional WiMAX

Intel Capital's Middle East and Turkey fund has made its first investment, joining with Egypt-based operator Orascom to form Orascom Telecom WiMAX

Egypt-based operator Orascom Telecom has entered into a joint venture with Intel Capital to create Orascom Telecom WiMAX Limited. In November 2005, Intel Capital, the venture capital investment arm of Intel Corporation, announced its Middle East and Turkey fund and this announcement is its first investment.

According to Orascom CEO Naguib Sawiris investment in the new WiMAX technology will boost the operator’s ability to offer services and aid its plans for growth. “Expanding our services through WiMAX is expected to help fulfill out strategy of offering services using the latest technologies. What motivates us is not necessarily the technology itself, but rather the potential of what the technology can offer to enhance us to expand our broadband reach where fixed-line services cannot penetrate.” Sawiris claims that the technology will open new opportunities in greenfield markets and enhance the current services in Orascom’s existing markets.

Orascom Telecom WiMAX will aim to focus its efforts on working with governments and companies throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia, looking to obtain suitable spectrum licences for the deployment of WiMAX services. Majority-owned by Orascon Telecom, Intel Capital will come in as lead investor, and will also provide access to the technical and marketing resources of Intel Corporation, which has been a prominent member of the WiMAX Forum.

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