Monday, July 23, 2007

Sprint and Clearwire Partner on WiMAX Initiative

A few days ago Sprint and Clearwire announced plans to work together in the buildout of a national WIMAX network.

According to a press release on Sprint's website:

"The WiMAX network is being designed to deliver mobile broadband services in urban, suburban and rural markets, and enable significantly greater depth and breadth of services. The arrangement also is expected to enable each company to increase capital efficiency and reduce overall network development and operating costs".

"Sprint Nextel and Clearwire expect to build their respective portions of the nationwide network, and enable roaming between the respective territories. The companies also will work jointly on product and service evolution, shared infrastructure, branding, marketing and distribution. Additionally, the companies intend to exchange selected 2.5 GHz spectrum in order to optimize build-out, development and operation of the network".

I've blogged about WiMAX and Clearwire last September - that blog is linked here. In that blog I described how Clearwire, under Craig O. McCaw's direction, had quietly purchased enough licensed radio spectrum to build a national WiMAX network. Last September I also discussed how Sprint had commtted to the buildout of a national WiMAX network, at that time in competition to Clearwire.

Here's more from July 2007 the Sprint press release:

"Under the network build-out plan, Sprint Nextel will focus its efforts primarily on geographic areas covering approximately 185 million people, including 75 percent of the people located in the 50 largest markets, while Clearwire will focus on areas covering approximately 115 million people. Initially, the two companies expect to build out network coverage to approximately 100 million people by the end of 2008, with seamless roaming enabled between the deployed areas".

"...Sprint Nextel expects to commence the initial stage of its mobile WiMAX network deployments by year-end 2007 and both companies expect to launch commercial service in the first half of 2008. The companies individually are working with a broad range of manufacturers including Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia and others to create an ecosystem of chips, products and software designed to provide mobile WiMAX access".

I think we'll see more of these kinds of partnerships develop as providers combine forces to offer customers higher bandwidths in wider coverage areas. I wish I has bought some stock last September!

Listen to Mike Q and my latest podcast "Skype, More Skype, Goodbye Copper and Casual Gaming" linked here.

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