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Sprint Increases Investment In WiMax Competitor

The company has invested another $10 million and is testing IPWireless' UMTS TD-CDMA wireless broadband technology in Washington, D.C.

Sprint Nextel said Wednesday that it has made a second investment in IPWireless, the developer of a wireless broadband technology that competes with WiMAX.

The company said that it has invested $10 million in IPWireless in addition to its initial $4 million investment. The company is trialing IPWireless' UMTS TD-CDMA wireless broadband technology in Washington D.C. The technology provides wireless broadband speeds and, unlike WiMAX, is already mobile.

The trial was started by Nextel before that company merged with Sprint. Sprint also has said it is trialing mobile WiMAX. While WiMAX has the strong support of Intel, it is only one type of wireless broadband.

This is the second investment by a significant player in companies that compete with WiMAX. Qualcomm last year acquired Flarion Technologies, which has developed another wireless broadband technology, FLASH-OFDM.

"We believe that UMTS TD-CDMA technology holds great promise as a next generation platform for operators globally, especially for both mobile broadband and mobile TV applications, and we are pleased to make this additional investment," Barry West, Sprint Nextel's Chief Technology Officer, said in a statement.

IPWireless' technology has been deployed by several other mobile carriers worldwide, including T-Mobile and Orange.

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