How Close Is AT&T to WiMax?
The major stumbling block, of course, is the availability of spectrum. There are two ways AT&T could get more air capacity: Win big in the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auctions; buy Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S).
Neither option would be cheap, as each would likely cost billions of dollars. The spectrum buyout, however, would likely be cheaper and easier than buying Sprint – less money up front and fewer regulatory and network integration hassles.
This is what makes the Alaska deployment rather interesting. It seems AT&T will have time to test newer WiMax technology before the 700MHz auctions, which have to happen before the end of January 2008. BellSouth reportedly tested some early WiMax-style kit before it was assimilated by Ma Bell, but AT&T hasn't done much with the technology since, at least not officially.
It'll be interesting to see if Alaska heats up AT&T's interest in WiMax.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung