Light Reading

Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
6/5/2009
50%
50%

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is promising to launch three more of what it calls "4G" markets this summer, piggybacking on the mobile WiMax infrastructure from Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) that the carrier uses to provide the mobile broadband service.

A spokeswoman for Sprint emails Unstrung that "4G will be available in Portland, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and other markets this summer." This follows Clearwire's recent "soft" launch of its Clear service in Atlanta and Las Vegas. (See Clearwire Goes Soft in Vegas and Clear Is in Atlanta.)

It's not 4G?
Like Clearwire and rival Verizon Wireless , Sprint is referring to its mobile broadband service as "4G." Strictly speaking, however, neither mobile WiMax nor Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology meets the download requirements to actually qualify as a fourth-generation wireless network.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 's official requirements for 4G include average downlink speeds of 100 Mbit/s in the wide area network, and up to 1 Gbit/s for local access or low mobility scenarios. Sprint says that its current WiMax network in Baltimore offers peak download speeds of 12 Mbit/s. (See WiMax & LTE Meet the Real World for more on WiMax and LTE speeds.)

The next versions of WiMax and LTE are expected to meet the ITU's requirements to be classed as a 4G technology. The ITU approved both 802.16m and LTE-Advanced as potential 4G specs back in July 2008. (See ITU Approves New 4G Specs.)

8 XOHMs to go
Sprint is working as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) over Clearwire's infrastructure, offering customers a dualmode USB modem so that they can switch between Sprint's 3G CDMA network and the mobile network. So far, however, Sprint only has one mobile WiMax network, its XOHM site in Baltimore. (See Clearwire Considering WiMax Polygamy .)

"Not for long," says the Sprint spokeswoman. In all, the third-ranked U.S. operator hopes to go commercial with eight dualmode markets in 2009, including Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

Of course, with its dualmode approach, sourcing devices that can run across both networks is an important part of the operator's strategy. Unstrung first reported in March that the operator has a number of devices on its roadmap for 2009 and 2010, including a tri-mode phone that would support CDMA, WiMax, and WiFi. (See Sprint to Extend '4G' in Clearwire Markets.)

Among the other devices planned are "a singlemode 4G data card, embedded laptops, small-office-home-office devices, and a personal hotspot router," the spokeswoman says. All of these are planned for this year or 2010, she notes, but the operator isn't releasing any further details yet.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:17 PM
re: Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?


Thanks to a loaner from the Sprint folks we were able to test-drive the hybrid card a bit while in Vegas for CTIA -- see our post here -- initial impressions were fairly favorable, seems to work as advertised. It does get a bit warm, however... might want to let it cool down before detaching from laptop (or use it to warm coffee).

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:17 PM
re: Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?


Thanks to a loaner from the Sprint folks we were able to test-drive the hybrid card a bit while in Vegas for CTIA -- see our post here -- initial impressions were fairly favorable, seems to work as advertised. It does get a bit warm, however... might want to let it cool down before detaching from laptop (or use it to warm coffee).

IPobserver
50%
50%
IPobserver,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:14 PM
re: Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?


Got any links to genuine user reviews of Sprint / ClearWire Mobile WiMax?


Could look myself, I guess, but lazy web is the new thing.


Thanks.

jkbelk
50%
50%
jkbelk,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:12 PM
re: Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?


Gabriel:

Real user reviews??  HAH!  Try doing some google searches on WiMax Field Trial results, WiMax real world performance, wimax integration issues, wimax interop issues (remeber, there are always 'issues' and until 'issues' get solved, 'reality'is suspect').  It's really tough to find anything...it might be out there, but tough to find real stuff.

We're now in 2009, and I find the lack of 'real' information on WiMax staggering, especially when it's the same crowd that RIPPED me in 2005 when I suggested it would be 2007 or even 2008 before WiMax started ramping globally, as they thought it would be 2006!  It's interesting (and validating) that the LTE crowd is talking about metrics, talking about issues, talking about performance, talking about pitfalls (LTE voice for example)...this the way real ecosystems get rolling, not by years of powerpoint fluff.


Time to review what I put voluminously out to the world, vs. what has happened...remember my WhyMax piece?


Jeff Belk

freetoair
50%
50%
freetoair,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:06 PM
re: Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?


You are right.


It is because (1) Intel controls it with a very tight fist (remember the KT book being confiscated at trade show in Seoul? which I doubt it had real deep performance data anyway)and (2) vendors do not want to put it out there as most have half-baked crap anyway...so why put it out.


Propoganda is laughable...deployed in X countrines, X operators covering X pops -- but no stat on the actual # of pops (perhpas with a few exceptions like KT, Clearwire(most all are fixed BTW)).

IPobserver
50%
50%
IPobserver,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:03:03 PM
re: Sprint: How Soon Is '4G Now'?


Here's what Lazy Web has thrown up so far -- a review by Gizmondo


It compares WiMax with EVDO. Worth a read once you get past the "Top Gear" writing style.


"It's hard to conceive of harnessing that much bandwidth wirelessly while sitting outside a shopping center... Having reviewed gadgets for almost a decade, I sometimes have to fake excitement that I may not truly feel in my loins" -- phwoar!


Via Jose Puthenkulam (@wimax360blogger)


Hi Jeff, Yes, I remember reading your WhyMax? paper.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
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
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones