Australian-based and owned Unwired Australia and Intel Corporation announced today that Intel Capital has agreed to invest in secured convertible notes issued by Unwired with a face value of AUD$37 million (approximately US$27.9 million at present exchange rates). The investment is part of the companiesí efforts to advance the deployment of WiMAX networks.
Unwired will use the proceeds primarily to expand its services to other major Australian cities. Its main customer base is in Sydney, where the companie counts more than 28,000 customers in just 10 months of operation after is launch in August 2004.
As part of the announcement, the companies have agreed to jointly promote mobile wireless broadband capabilities using WiMAX networks in Australia. Unwired plans to adopt future Intel products that support the upcoming IEEE 802.16e standard for WiMAX solutions intended to be deployed in infrastructure equipment and notebooks.
WiMAX, which stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-speed broadband connectivity over long distances to homes, businesses and mobile wireless networks. The upcoming IEEE 802.16e version will offer increased broadband Internet access mobility.
Unwired will initially deploy technology from U.S.-based broadband wireless access solutions provider, Navini Networks, for its WiMAX networks. Dual-mode customer modems and base stations, which can operate Unwiredís current proprietary technology and WiMAX-based technology concurrently, will be available in the first half of 2006.
Unwiredís shareholders will hold a meeting in October to obtain shareholder approvals for the investment. Details will be sent to shareholders shortly in the Notice of Meeting and Explanatory Memorandum which will be accompanied by an independent expertís report from KPMG Corporate Finance (Aust) Pty Ltd.