Wi-Fi Calls, Intel Answers



Intel has taken undisclosed stakes in two developers of Wireless Fidelity technology as it prepares to deliver a new processor with built-in wireless functions.

Intel took stakes in STSN, a supplier of high-speed wireless networks to hotels, and TeleSym, whose software turns laptops and PDAs into speakerphones. It's Intel's fifth investment in STSN and its first in TeleSym. Intel typically invests less than $10 million at a time in any startup.

Intel hopes technology from STSN and TeleSym will complement its Wi-Fi-compatible mobile processor, Banias, scheduled for release in the next six months. "Intel needs to invest in a wireless computing infrastructure to create a market for this technology," says Brooks Gray, a Technology Business Research analyst.

In October, Intel Capital's Communications Fund set aside $150 million to invest in companies developing 802.11b, or Wi-Fi, technology.

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