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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Intel, HCL launch first WiMax-enabled nettops in India

Intel, HCL launch first WiMax-enabled nettops

The world’s largest chip maker Intel, along with HCL Infosystems, on Tuesday announced the launch of the first of WiMax-enabled nettops

and laptops in the country.

WiMax Broadband rollout will help consumers access internet in remote parts and congested places, where wireline broadband has failed to reach. Unveiling the nettops and laptops, Intel CEO and president Paul Otellini said internet access should become a fundamental right as it’s a real indicator of economic growth.

“A 0.1% increase in broadband penetration will create almost 300,000 jobs in India, according to our estimates,” he said. Nettops are small form of laptops, which consume less power and are used primarily for accessing the internet.

State-run telco BSNL said it would start rolling out WiMax services in about 1,000 blocks in the country by next month. India currently has about 6 million broadband connections. But the government has set itself an ambitious target to achieve 20 million connections by next year.

“The government is committed to provide all panchayats with rural broadband in next three years. But the private sector should work towards lowering the cost of access device,” minister of state for IT and communications Sachin Pilot said.

HCL Infosystems will make available the WiMax-enabled laptops and nettops within three months to the consumers. The laptops will be powered by Intel’s Atom processor. “The cost of the devices will be a bit higher than conventional laptops, as it includes the WiMax access device,” added HCL Infosystems chairman and CEO Ajai Chowdhry.

WiMax is a wireless technology which can allow mobile broadband access with speeds as high as 10 mbps. It is especially useful for far flung and rural areas areas, where last mile connectivity has not reached as yet.

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