Light Reading

Sprint Facing WiMax Delays?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
3/5/2007
50%
50%

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has set an aggressive target for its first WiMax network -- promising a wide-scale rollout of the wireless broadband technology in the U.S. in 2008. It's a target that may be too ambitious, according to analysts and vendors, with a new report predicting that the schedule will slip by a year or two.

Financial analysts at Dresdner Kleinwort have issued a research note suggesting that the WiMax deployment is "almost certain" to run into "cost overruns" and "delays." The Reston, Va.-based operator's CEO, Gary Forsee, hinted on his company's recent earnings call that Sprint may look for additional investors beyond Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), and Samsung Corp. (See Sprint: Profits Up, Subs Stall.) "We believe the whole project will be marred by severe delays, quality deficiencies and functional slippages," says the analyst firm. "Mass market rollout seems more likely by 2009-10."

Unstrung heard similar talk from vendors at the recent 3GSM show in Barcelona. One source was skeptical that the product would be ready in time for planned rollouts.

Sprint said recently that it was satisfied with the progress so far on the network. The company reiterated its position to Unstrung on Monday evening.

"We are on track with our program and technology evaluations for where we want/need to be at this stage of the network development," said a spokesman for Sprint in an email. "We will have soft launches in two major markets by year-end, with commercial launch during 2008 to a targeted 100 million pops."

"The earnings call did nothing more than reiterate messages made to the marketplace during CES in January and press announcements, and excitement over the prospects. You may have noticed a refinement of our 4G capital expenditure in 2007 to $800 million, down from one billion estimated last August as a result of vendor contract finalization."

It has always been clear, however, that it could be tricky to hit the mobile WiMax milestone using Sprint's preferred technology. The operator wants to use the very latest in mobile broadband known as "Wave 2" WiMax, which mandates chipsets that use "beamforming" and multi-antenna arrays to increase the data transfer rates and capacity offered over the network.

Startup Beceem Communications Inc. , which claims to be the first to deliver a Wave 2 mobile chipset, says it should allow customers to deliver devices based on the silicon in the second half of 2007.

WiMAX Forum certification of initial Wave 2 base station and device interoperability is slated to start in the second quarter of 2007. These forum test schedules have also been known to slip before. (See WiMax Waits on Testing.)

Meanwhile, most base station vendors are working on Wave 1-compliant base stations that they say will be upgradeable to Wave 2 capabilities. In January, Navini Networks Inc. claimed to be first to demonstrate Wave 2 infrastructure in San Jose, Calif. this January. (See Navini Joins WiMax PlugFest.)

Even if the testing remains on track this doesn't leave much time to deploy and test Sprint's initial WiMax sites in Baltimore, Washington, D.C, and Chicago. These are due to be switched on by the end of 2007 with wider commercial services to follow. (See Motorola's WiMax Wait.) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Potholes Lurk in Indian Smart City Project
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 5/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
Cats with Phones