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4G/3G/WiFi

What's WiMax's Sprint Speed?

5:15 PM -- Hey there, broadbanders!

Wireless broadband is in the air this week, especially at the WiMax World show in Chicago. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and others have all been talking up or demonstrating the technology.

On its home turf, Motorola has even been driving around demonstrating that the technology can hand-off between base stations at speeds of up to 50 MPH. (See Motorola Demos WiMax in Chicago and Sprint Promises WiMax 'Momentum'.)

So, unless there's some major unforeseen tech glitch between now and the end of the year, Sprint and its partners will start to light up initial mobile WiMax markets within months and on into 2008.

I'm hoping that this will throw more light onto exactly what kind of data transfer speeds we can expect from the technology. I've heard and read speeds quoted of a few Mbit/s right up to 30 Mbit/s. Even for a hyped wireless technology that's a crazy range of numbers.

A lot of the speed you see -- or don't see -- will depend on environmental factors: how many people on the network; how fast is a user traveling; how close to the base station... all the usual suspects, in fact. Still, it will be good to get some real-world data when these networks are up and running.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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