Sprint Nextel Adopts WiMax - InformationWeek
02:04 PM

Sprint Nextel Adopts WiMax

Sprint Nextel is working with Intel, Motorola, and Samsung to develop a nationwide network infrastructure, along with chipsets for computing, portable multimedia, interactive, and consumer electronic devices.

With WiMax comes the promise of wireless coverage everywhere, superfast data speeds, and affordable Internet services. But widespread adoption will require the support of a carrier like Sprint Nextel, which today revealed mobile WiMax as a technology of choice to build its fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband network.

Sprint Nextel is working with Intel, Motorola, and Samsung to develop the nationwide network infrastructure and chipsets for computing, portable multimedia, interactive, and consumer electronic devices. It will all use the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard for mobile WiMax, which will allow people to surf the Web while walking or riding in cars.

The carrier will invest $1 billion in 2007 and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2008 to build its mobile broadband network, with the first services planned for the end of 2007. Sprint Nextel says it will reach as many as 100 million people in 2008.

The download speeds for services offered on Sprint Nextel's mobile WiMax network will average between 2 and 4 Mbps. "That means you'll be able to download a 10-minute video with a portable video player in about 100 seconds, which is about four times faster than what is possible today," said Gary Forsee, Sprint Nextel's president and CEO, during a press conference.

Sprint Nextel has an advantage over other carriers. WiMax requires licensed spectrum, but it's scarce and expensive in the United States. The WiMax Forum, which certifies products for interoperability, has designated two bands: 2.5 GHz, which is mostly owned by Sprint Nextel and ClearWire, and 3.5 GHz, which isn't available in the United States. Sprint Nextel will put its 2.5-GHz spectrum to good use: "[It] will be the first carrier to market 4G services to customers," Forsee said.

Market observers have been skeptical about the prospects for mobile WiMax in the United States because of existing wired and cellular networks. However, Sprint Nextel's plan to deploy mobile WiMax and efforts by technology vendors like Intel mean the United States will be an important part of a growing mobile WiMax "ecosystem," according to an ABI Research statement to the media.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll