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Sprint & Samsung: 'WiMax Is Ready'

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Samsung Corp. have just released a statement saying that mobile WiMax is "ready for commercial service," but the operator is still saying its initial market launches will happen "later this year."

The companies are just confirming that they are happy with the performance of the WiMax network in the lab and in the Baltimore/Washington area. This means they have tested the overall network performance, including WiMax's ability to hand off signals when units move between base stations, and they like the results.

Sprint CTO Barry West told Unstrung last week that "later this year" would likely mean late in the third quarter or early in the fourth. Sprint plans to launch in three markets all told, also working with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) for a Chicago launch. (see Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt.)

All of this Xohm work will get swept into the new Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) venture when that is approved. Sprint and Clearwire are hoping for the regulatory go-ahead by the end of the year. (See CLWR: Where It's at With WiMax.)

The announcement also allows Samsung to remind people that it has a WiMax PC card and an "Ultra Premium Mobile PC" waiting in the wings for when the networks get up and running.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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