Light Reading
US operator is already considering how to provide the best indoor coverage for specific market segments

Sprint Taking WiMax Indoors

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
4/17/2007
50%
50%

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is already examining a number of different options for providing robust indoor coverage over the WiMax network it is planning to launch in the U.S. at the end of the year and through 2008. The Reston, Va.-based operator wants to ensure that corporate and campus sites can get high-speed wireless broadband over the network indoors and out, Bin Shen, Sprint Nextel's VP of Broadband tells Unstrung in an interview this morning.

Although the company has already named its major cell site infrastructure vendors for the deployment -- Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), and Samsung Corp. -- Shen says that the operator has been making "some inquiries" about WiMax "pico cells and micro cells" for in-building applications.

"We need to make sure we can address specific markets with WiMax," says Shen. As well as corporate in-building and campus deployments, these could include shopping malls and conference centers.

To this end, the operator is examining a number of WiFi options -- from small cells that link to the Internet over Ethernet cable to more standard cellular-style distributed antenna systems. "It depends on the situation," says Shen. "There is no kind of uniform way that we can do this."

It is clear that if Sprint gets close to some of its indoor WiMax aims, the technology could become more of a threat to large-scale WiFi deployments than it has been before. Shen says the operator wants WiMax in-building systems that are "as cheap as the WiFi solution."

Sprint isn't saying yet who some of its suppliers might be for its varied mini-WiMax requirements. "We can't disclose that," Shen says. There are, however, a diverse collection of vendors working on smaller WiMax networking gear -- from Adaptix Inc. to mesh networking firm Tropos Networks Inc. Indoor wireless specialist RadioFrame Networks Inc. has also started to look at WiMax as a transport mechanism. (See Mobile WiMax Takes Fixed Field and Femtocells Gear Up for 3GSM.)

The operator might take a leaf out of the WiFi playbook with regards to funding some of these small-scale deployments. Shen says Sprint has a "flexible business model" when it comes to indoor deployments and may seek out large corporations, conference centers, and shopping malls to "participate in the in-building build-out of WiMax." He likened this to the way that WiFi hotspots can be deployed in such places today. "They could chose to fund that," Shen says.

Sprint's major infrastructure suppliers are putting undisclosed sums towards the initial roll out of the operator's planned $3 billion nationwide WiMax network in the U.S., so some alternative thinking from the operator about funding this network should not be so surprising. Although Shen stresses that the hotspot-like model is "just one option." (See Sprint Picks Nokia for WiMax.)

Nonetheless, he wholeheartedly embraces the idea that Sprint Nextel is thinking differently with this new deployment. "We're not building a WiMax network to be another cellular network," Shen says. "We want it to be the future of the mobile Internet."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/15/2014
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Analyst: Ericsson, Oracle Top Shrinking SDP World
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed