Sprint Quiet on WiMax Launch Date

Rollouts in some markets continue, but the carrier's taking its time and not giving a firm date for a commercial WiMax launch

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

April 2, 2008

2 Min Read
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.

{column}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

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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