Optical/IP Networks

Sprint & Samsung in NYC WiMax Push

Mobile WiMax will come to the Big Apple late in 2007, courtesy of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), which are plotting a deployment in NYC as part of the operator's nationwide mobile broadband deployment.

The contract is Samsung's latest WiMax win with Sprint. The South Korean vendor is already slated to deploy WiMax for Sprint in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Providence, R.I.

Sprint, based in Reston, Va., says it will have 19 markets ready for WiMax by the end of April and expects to cover 100 million people by the end of 2008, spending $2.5 billion in the process. The other planned markets include Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Seattle. (See CTIA: West Talks WiMax.)

Sprint is working with a diverse list of partners including Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK). (See Sprint's Ready to XOHM Out.)

Samsung, meanwhile, helped to pioneer the ground-breaking domestic version of mobile WiMax -- WiBro -- in its home market of South Korea.

All of which could make things interesting for the operator best known for running a WiMax service in NYC today -- Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER). The business-focused, fixed-WiMax operator recently expanded service in New York. It is not clear, however, how much TowerStream's enterprise service and Sprint's more consumer-focused XOHM brand will overlap. (See TS Expands Network.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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