Taiwan concerned about Intel possibly changing mind on WiMAX, says President Ma
Bryan Chuang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Friday 29 October 2010]
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, in meeting with Intel CEO Paul Otellini on October 28, indicated that Intel's dismissal of its WiMAX Program Office (WPO) and investment to set up a joint venture with KT in South Korea has made the Taiwan government and WiMAX industry worried about the possibility that Intel has changed its WiMAX business strategies.
But Ma said he felt eased when he knew that Otellini, in a reply to questions from Taiwan's Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-shiang, expressed Intel's continued support of Taiwan's WiMAX development. Ma hoped Intel would materialize cooperation with Taiwan through carrying out the WiMAX MOU it signed with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in 2008. Viewing that MOEA's cooperation with Hewlett-Packard's and IBM's R&D centers in Taiwan has proved successful, Ma hoped Intel would use its Intel Innovation Center in Taiwan to strengthen WiMAX cooperation with Taiwan. Because WiMAX hardware/software has become Taiwan's 10th largest export product and Intel is the leader in WiMAX, the Taiwan government has rested large hopes on Intel, Ma pointed out.
While Intel intended the Otellini's visit to sign an MOUs for cooperation on cloud computing with Taiwan, Ma mentioned WiMAX but nothing about cloud computing at the meeting with Otellini.
MOEA head Shih was supposed to sign the MOU for cloud computing cooperation with Intel. But, in an attempt to express discontent with Intel's not fulfilling the WiMAX MOU, MOEA intentionally downgraded its signing representative letting the Director-general of its Department of Industrial Technology sign the MOU and vice minister Huang Jung-chiou witness the signing. In addition, Huang made a point of mentioning the WiMAX MOU at the signing.
Otellini, in his speech at the signing ceremony, indicated that both LTE and WiMAX have development potential in the 4G area and he is happy to see successful development of WiMAX in Taiwan. However, Otellini declined to answer questions from media and neither talked with government officials nor responded to Huang's questions.
Stanley Huang, Director of Advanced Technical Sales & Services for Intel Asia Pacific, indicated that Intel and MOEA differ in interpreting the WiMAX MOU and Intel is still evaluating the feasibility of its investment in a WiMAX system integration joint venture specified in the MOU.