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Intel brings wireless broadband to Chinese cities

Dalian and Chengdu will serve as test-beds for a technology key to chipmaker's future plans.

Intel on Thursday said it has signed agreements with Chinese government officials in Dalian and Chengdu to develop networks in the cities for wireless broadband.

Intel will use WiMax, an emerging "last mile" wireless technology based on the 802.16 standard and its derivatives, to provide broadband access. Networks set up with gear based on WiMax standards have a range of up to about 30 miles with data transfer speeds of up to 70 megabits per second.

"By investing in advanced technologies and IT infrastructure, Dalian and Chengdu have the opportunity to lead the adoption of new broadband wireless technology," Intel Vice President John Antone said in a statement.

Neither Intel nor the municipal governments disclosed specific details of the deals.

Dalian, a northeastern port city with a population of 5.9 million, is a center for industry, trade and finance in the country. Chengdu, in China's southwestern region, has a population of 10 million people.

Next-generation broadband wireless technologies like WiMax are central to Intel's telecommunications and home entertainment plans. The company has said that WiMax wireless broadband will simplify building out its network infrastructure.

Earlier this week, the chipmaker announced that it is working with Chinese gaming company Shanda Networking to develop online content for the digital home and entertainment sectors.