Sprinting towards a WiMAX future
CTO outlines future of WiMAX in the USA
Sprint Nextel is on schedule to launch its WiMAX service at the end of April, but won't be subsidising devices or requiring long-term contracts.
Chief technology office Barry West, speaking at CES in Las Vegas this week, rejected a direct device subsidy. But he did moot the idea of incorporating WiMAX access into the cost of the device, in much the same way that Amazon's Kindle doesn't require the user to have a mobile phone contract, but uses the mobile network for updates.
West suggested that around ten WiMAX devices will be available when the (unfortunately-named) service is launched, and that Sprint would limit itself to selling data cards for laptop access, any other kit users want will have to come through normal retain channels.
Some devices, like Nokia's tablet, will be generic internet-access devices - but more interesting is the idea of WiMAX-equipped cameras or electronic books. Barry referred to a Korean company (unnamed) which will be selling a WiMAX-enabled games console in early 2009.
Sprint Nextel will certainly be hoping that a wide range of applications are found for the service - having announced they'll be spending $5bn on the infrastructure they're going to have to make that back somehow. The service will launch in April, starting out in Baltimore, Washington and Chicago, so we'll have to wait until then to find out what they'll be charging and how many people actually want to use it. ®
WiMAX is not Even 4G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FFS will someone stop Sprint (and others) from talking about WiMAX and calling it 4G!!
In 3GPP-land, LTE ("3.9G")has requirements to deliver >100Mbps and will probably deliver in excess of 300Mbps by 2010. 4G is targetting >1000 Mbps peak bit-rates.
Motorola demo'd WiMAX late last year as a 4Mbps/1Mbps pre-commercial system (you can get close to that with HSPA on Vodafone today), and it's eventual aims are ~70Mbps, so 4G it aint.
Wade hit it on the head.
I am really shocked Sprint is still not on that bandwagon with the marketing saying that there EVDO network is WiMax hahah. The sad thing is the EVDO rev a network will be the same speed as this so called throttled/crippled down WiMax network with tons of proxies servers behind it not to mention they will doing what ATT is going to do and that is traffic shape.
That is if it works..
Sprint cannot even do 1G right. Why should I trust them to do WiMAX right? Nobody drops more calls than Sprint. Nobody is harder to contact than a customer with a Sprint mobile phone. Nobody is more frustrated than a person talking a Sprint customer rep. There reps are downright rude to you. And when Spring does VoIP, it costs 50% more than their competition yet delivers inferior service. Sprint cannot do anything right. So instead of trying something new, Sprint should get what they have right first. After all, if I cannot trust you do the easier stuff, why can I trust you to do harder stuff?