Pipex and Intel have pooled their resources to become a serious UK WiMax broadband provider. Intel will put in $25 million, and Pipex will hand over its entire national 3.5GHz broadband radio licences to a joint-venture that plans to cover the UK's eight top population centres by 2008.

The joint venture will expand on Pipex's trial in Stratford-on-Avon, and deliver services in London and Manchester in 2007. Eight areas will be covered in 2008, and around 50 areas will be covered eventually.

Pipex owned one of the only two licences currently available for widespread WiMax services in the UK - the other is held by PCCW.

Peter Dubens, chair of Pipex, and now also chair of Pipex Wireless, said: "We see creation of this new wireless service provider as an incredible opportunity to provide new services to major cities in the UK."