Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is so keen to keep its XOHM unit a WiMax-only play that the first dual-mode PC card to support CDMA cellular connections and the new wireless broadband technology will be delivered under the Sprint brand rather than the operator's "4G" marquee.

A dual-mode PC card for laptops will be useful for users that want to step beyond the city limits of early WiMax markets -- such as Baltimore, Washington D.C., or Chicago -- and still get some form of connectivity. Users with WiMax-only cards and devices will likely find that they cannot roam much outside of home markets as the network gets established in 2008 and 2009. (See Sprint Preps Four New WiMax Markets and Sprint: More on B'More.)

Sprint spokesman John Polivka tells Unstrung that the dual-mode card should be available before "the end of the year." It's not clear, though, if it's going to be available for the expected launch of WiMax services in Baltimore this month.

The card will be a "Sprint product" from the carrier's business unit and not branded under the XOHM WiMax service. Polivka says that XOHM is a "separate business unit" and that the carrier wants to keep it "WiMax-only."

That separation of cellular church and WiMax state should become more obvious before the end of the year as Sprint's WiMax assets become part of the "new" Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), a deal that both operators are hoping will close before the end of the fourth quarter. (See Clearwire: We're Still on Track.) Early WiMax devices, such as the Nokia 810 WiMax tablet, are starting to get listed online for sale.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:33:15 PM
re: Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax Curious, will people buy WiMax-only cards and devices or wait for dual-mode?

KB258 12/5/2012 | 3:33:15 PM
re: Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax By supporting dual mode CDMA and WiMax card Sprint wireless broadband subscribers can roam in Clearwire WiMax network and vice versa. Sprint will earn roaming revenue by allowing WiMax subscribers to roam in its CDMA network.

lrmobile_kumaramitabh 12/5/2012 | 3:33:13 PM
re: Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax This approach, while may be very comforting to the business heads to see seggregated businesses can be detrimental for business in the long run.

Is XOHM not planning on VoIP and voice enabled devices? If it is, they would certainly benefit from being to roam in the CDMA networks.

Most of the devices used in Korea, including handsets ate CDMA/ WiBro enabled.

In my view, XOHM should consider the ability to provide dual mode devices as a boon at the time of launch.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:33:11 PM
re: Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax Oh I suspect they will all be dual-mode in the long-run, it is just that the companies hope that XOHM will be rolled into CLearwire by then.

wap545 12/5/2012 | 3:32:50 PM
re: Sprint Plots Dual-Mode CDMA-WiMax I would expect the major sources of handheld devices (Smartphone/Laptops/MiniLaptops/Gaming devices etc) will have a Software Defined Radio capability addressing (switching between) a combination of LTE/WiMAX/WiFi and HSDPA type radios.
In short these Customer Acccess Devices (or CAD's) will allow the end user to effectively navigate between a host of providers (picking most viable link)and eventually be able to write their own agreements with providers. Unless the FCC caves in to VZW and AT&T again.

Jim A
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