Intel announced today the founding of the Open Patent Alliance, which they see as a step forward to WiMAX 4G technology development and deployment. Intel, along with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Clearwire, Samsung and Sprint has formed the alliance, which will be essentially an IP-sharing conglomerate between the companies. The benefits to them are obvious. They will get better access to each other's technology and easier patent sharing, which could lead to them making hardware faster and releasing it sooner than competitors.

They also see the alliance as an education tool, which effectively means a marketing tool that they can use as a “central resource” for WiMAX-related patents. They claim that many other companies are ready to jump on board with the alliance in the near future. You can read more in the Intel press release. For all its supposed benefits, WiMAX has yet to gain any real ground in the U.S. Overseas, it has fared better, but still faces serious growing pains. The promises that WiMAX vendors offer often fall short of reality.