Feeds

Sprint CEO admits WiMAX gamble didn't pay off

Great statements of the obvious

High performance access to file storage

Dan Hesse has admitted that his company's gamble in investing in WiMAX hasn't paid off in providing Sprint with a first-mover advantage – even if it has turned out great for customers.

Sprint's CEO was interviewed by Walt Mossberg at the All Things Digital conference in San Francisco, as reported by PC World, and admitted that WiMAX technology failed to provide the 4G lead it was supposed to. He did argue, however, that the failure was down to Verizon's unexpectedly fast response in deploying LTE, to the good of consumers looking for faster wireless.

Sprint's Xohm network, which later got thrown into the Clearwire mix, had to use WiMAX, because the approved telecommunications standard – LTE – wasn't finished in time. Even when LTE was ready, it relied on separate frequencies for transmitting and receiving (Frequency Division Duplex) – and only very recently managed to do both over one band (Time Division Duplex) as WiMAX always has.

That should have given WiMAX networks a good couple of years' advantage in getting to market, which is what Sprint was betting on, but things are never quite that simple. Intel backed WiMAX very heavily, but Nokia Siemens and the rest of the mobile infrastructure suppliers have greater patent holdings in LTE, and (by happy coincidence) that's the technology the big mobe network operators around the world backed.

Without network operator backing, confidence in WiMAX fell, and in Europe various legal shenanigans delayed the release of radio spectrum that WiMAX operators might have wanted, at least until the LTE TDD standard was finalised – again denying WiMAX the economy of scale it needed.

These days it is recognised that LTE will triumph, with WiMAX headed for point-to-point connections and fixed wireless. Even Sprint has been working out how to migrate to LTE, ideally in the same spectrum – though in his interview Dan Hesse also refers to cheaper wireless being dependent on what Walt Mossberg called "taking away the spectrum that the elderly use to watch their TV"...

Clearwire might have been the first 4G network in America, but to get there it was forced to adopt a dead-end technology, and is still suffering for that decision. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.