Craig & Craig: McCaw gets Intel dollars

Wall Street Journal reports that Intel Corp. is going to invest in Craig McCaw ‘s new company Clearwire, and the two companies will work on making WiMAX viable. The money is coming from a $150 million fund set up by Intel’s venture-capital arm to promote wireless technology. McCaw has bought enough spectrum to make Clearwire a serious player and has also snapped up NextNet Wireless, a maker of communications hardware that has sold equipment in Canada, Mexico, Africa and Asia. So far these two companies have been working on non-standard gear.

As part of the deal, Clearwire has agreed to deploy future networks based on equipment from NextNet that use Intel chips supporting the 802.16e technology. Mr. Maloney, in an interview, said Intel has been working with Mr. McCaw’s venture on the technology for about nine months. But he does not expect services based on the 802.16e products to hit the market until 2006.”

Intel’s investment I guess is a way to bring them into the WiMAX camp. In offline world, offering money to switch loyalties is called “bribery”. In tech world it is called strategic investment. Motley Fool calls it buying growth