Feeds

WiMAX is more of a crawl than a Sprint

Trials still not performing

The essential guide to IT transformation

CTIA Wireless Sprint is running late on its WiMAX network, which will now go commercial in the summer, and not this month, as originally pencilled.

Sprint's WiMAX service, branded Xohm, has been in trials in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, where it's apparently performing less well than anticipated.

Analysts had expected Xohm network announcements at CTIA, the big US wireless trade show running this week in Las Vegas. But instead delegates heard admission from Barry West, Sprint's CTO, that the commercial launch is slipping.

Rumour has it that much of the problem is in securing sufficient back-haul for the network, which is supposed to deliver connection speeds of up to 4Mb/sec. To support such connections every cell site needs high-capacity leased lines, which are expensive to install and maintain. Sprint wants to use microwave connections, but even getting those line-of-sight links working is taking more time and resources than anticipated.

In the UK, WiMAX deployments have used ADSL for backhaul, but the UK phone network will support connections of up to 24Mb/sec over ADSL – fast enough until WiMAX gets a lot more popular. In the US ADSL is less consistent and many cell-sites would only be able to get a few megabits of connectivity.

At CTIA, Xohm is demonstrating various devices that Sprint hopes will work with the bandwidth its struggling to provide, including a hunch-backed Nokia N810 and various notebook designs with WiMAX, and the experience is commensurate with a 2Mb/sec connection.

Sprint claims that Xohm gives it a two-year advantage on competing technologies, which is probably true if you compare WiMAX to LTE (Long Term Evolution - the competing 4G technology).

But with connection speeds topping out at 4Mb/sec at best Xohm is more comparable to HSDPA, or HSDPA+ at best, which is already being deployed. If Xohm slips any further that lead could disappear entirely no matter how much money the companies pour into it. ®

Bootnote

For all the news on the CTIA Wireless trade show see our CTIA roundup.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?