Intel invests $43m in Japanese communication company

The venture capital arm of the semiconductor giant has acquired a stake in UQ Communications.

Intel Capital has invested $43 million in UQ Communications, a Japan-based provider of WiMAX mobile services, for an undisclosed size stake.

WiMAX is a digital communications system that enables wireless high-speed mobile internet access to a diverse range of devices such as notebooks, mobile phones and other consumer electronics.

This investment by Intel is one of its most significant in terms of “developing the WiMAX ecosystem around the globe”, Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital, said in a statement.

The investment will be used to fund the domestic expansion of the company’s WiMAX services in Japan, with the aim of providing WiMAX coverage to 90 percent of the country by 2012.

UQ Communications has launched a trial service of its services in Tokyo’s 23 wards, Yokohama, Kawasaki and the Tokyo International Airport. Its WiMAX service will be launched formally on 1 July.

Intel Capital makes equity investments in technology startups and companies globally. The firm has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1000 companies across 46 countries since its inception in 1991. The firm manages private equity funds focused on the Middle East and Turkey, China, India and Brazil, in addition to two global technology funds.

Last year, the firm invested about $1.6 billion in 169 deals.