Feeds

WiMAX is more of a crawl than a Sprint

Trials still not performing

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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.

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.