Sprint Quiet on WiMax Launch Date

LAS VEGAS -- CTIA Wireless 2008 -- Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will not now commit to a launch date commercial Xohm WiMax services, although the original plans for an April launch appear to have been been ditched by the third-ranked U.S. cellular operator. (See CES: Sprint's in the XOHM.)

Unstrung caught up with Sprint 4G chief and CTO, Barry West, at the operator's WiMax event on Tuesday evening to get more info on Xohm. West said he won't say what the launch date is for the service, as you'll see in this exclusive video:

The operator had originally planned a limited April launch of commercial services in markets such as Chicago and Baltimore-Washington, D.C. These networks will, however, remain employee-testbeds for the moment.

The Xohm launch date is not the only question that causes Sprint to clam up. West made it clear that the operator would not comment on "rumor and speculation" at the possibility of a renewed partnership with WiMax rival Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR). (See CTIA: Sprint's Samsung Touch.)

"There are certain questions [we] cannot and will not answer, so save your time and effort," West declared earlier.

West was much more ebullient on the technical issues of deploying WiMax, however, talking up mini-basestations as a way to solve any potential issues that the 2.5GHz-compatible radios might have with good coverage inside the home.

"I'm a big proponent of femtocells," he says. "I expect we could see some in production early next year.

West also says that he is happy to describe WiMax, as well as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), as fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology. West's reasoning being that the technologies are all based on "next generation" radio signal-processing technology called Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), which supports multiple data streams to help improve transfer speeds and improve resistance to interference.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

freetoair 12/5/2012 | 3:43:52 PM
re: Sprint Quiet on WiMax Launch Date Check out the news from WiMAX Forum Asia Congress 2008 regarding WiMAX Forum Prez Resnicks flame-out and "ban" on report.

Maybe Unstrung should reach out to Telecoms-Korea and get the report published on-line in the spirit of free press?

Telecoms Korea publishes Mobile WiMax Handbook

Does WiMAX Forum Want False Hope?

WiMAX Forum 'Imposes' Blackout on Mobile WiMAX Handbook

KT, the Invisible Hand behind WiMAX Forum

joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:43:49 PM
re: Sprint Quiet on WiMax Launch Date They appear to have an online presence. Maybe the stories are losing something in translation but I guess I'm not understanding why they couldn't post it themselves. Enlighten me here.

-- DJ
freetoair 12/5/2012 | 3:43:48 PM
re: Sprint Quiet on WiMax Launch Date Dan,
Of course they can post it -- but perhaps they are under intense pressure to "shut up". Hence my comment that perhaps some other "journalists" like you might be interested in the story. Frankly I find it hard to imagine the doc is that negative. Facts are facts. Spin is spin. But "suppression" of the story is another matter.

On your previous post the link did not work (for me at least). And yes the Certification of 2.3 profile is fine but no big story. It has been certified in the field with these vendors for quite awhile. Is anyone else using 2.3GHz WiBro? Or planning to? I thought WiMAX was the global standard? My point - this was/is a "political" milestone not a "technical" milestone.
IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:43:41 PM
re: Sprint Quiet on WiMax Launch Date Just catching up with thisGǪ it seems they have a report that WiMax/WiBro doesn't have many subscribers in Korea.

Fine. They can/should publish that.

All media outlets can be shrill when slighted. But the website seems to have gone way over the top in the follow-upGǪ from what I read anyway.

Is this media outlet really under pressure to shut up? Or just cross that their paper got nixed?
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