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Intel licenses Wi-Fi tech from PCTel

Intel has agreed to pay Wi-Fi specialist PCTel $14.5 million for complete access to the Chicago-based company's portfolio of patents. In turn, PCTel gains a right to Intel's patents relevant to PCTel's current business.

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PCTel creates software modems and software for Wi-Fi handsets that simplify roaming and billing, when a user crosses from one network to another.

Establishing roaming alliances is a crucial step toward greater acceptance of wireless computing, according to, among others, Anand Chandrasekher, vice president of Intel's mobile products group. Some carriers in Europe and Asia are already establishing roaming agreements for networks that do not overlap geographically.