Sprint Nextel Drops the WiMax Bomb

Sprint Nextel Drops the WiMax Bomb

Sprint nextel announced this week that they are putting $1 billion per G (make that $4 billion) into rollout of WiMax in the US and development of infrastructure and devices with Intel, Motorola and Samsung. The target is rollout of a nationwide WiMax service reach 100 million potential customers by 2008 along Sprint Nextel's existing infrastructure. Trials would begin in late 2007. In Sprint's words:

"The Sprint Nextel 4G mobility network will use the company's extensive 2.5GHz spectrum holdings, which cover 85 percent of the households in the top 100 U.S. markets – the most of any wireless carrier in any single spectrum band. To access that network, Sprint Nextel will work with Intel, Motorola and Samsung to incorporate WiMAX technology for advanced wireless communications and help make chipsets widely available for new consumer electronics devices, connecting consumers to the Internet and to each other while providing them with the flexibility to do what they want or need to do regardless of time or place.

"Commitments from Intel, Motorola and Samsung in the areas of market development, mobile WiMAX devices and other contributions to Sprint Nextel's core business are expected to accelerate Sprint Nextel's goal of deploying services and market adoption. Motorola and Samsung will also support Sprint's current and CDMA/EV-DO network technologies by creating multimode devices that will support services on both the 4G network and the 3G network in areas outside the planned 4G coverage, and will provide voice service using the core 3G network. The 4G broadband network will offer a complementary, high-bandwidth service driven by data centric devices."

This should spur some competition, and was also surely a move to create some new dynamics in the current spectrum bidding going on in the US at the moment. As Cingular pushes out its 3G network, Sprint's jump to WiMax as a 4G play attempts a flanking maneuver on Big Orange. We'll be watching the milestones tick by to see if this is just an announcement of big money, or if deeds follow words.

| August 11th, 2006 | Posted in Wireless Access |

2 Responses to “Sprint Nextel Drops the WiMax Bomb”

  1. Zeppelin Says:

    The company said the new network, expected to launch in some markets by late 2007, will provide customers with wireless Internet speeds on par with DSL and cable TV modems and four times faster than speeds available on current wireless networks.

  2. Ron Wilson Says:

    Even for Sprint, this is a huge investment. Remember UMTS investments in Europe?

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