updated 04:00 pm EDT, Tue August 8, 2006
Sprint Picks WiMax For 4G
The declaration that EVDO is mobile broadband doesn't always ring true in practice. In theory, current EVDO allows for up to 2.4 Mbps downstream. Most users won't ever reach that speed in practice; Sprint Nextel says users on its network average between 400 and 700 Kbps. This ultimately limits current EVDO to "good enough" broadband that clearly outperforms dial-up, yet which can't truly compare to what land-line users know. Sprint's announcement that it would use Intel's WiMax for its upcoming 4G service is thus particularly welcome. The phone carrier said that the 2007 rollout should give customers much better real-world service than EVDO can offer, delivering between 2 and 4 Mbps depending on signal strength. It should also be less expensive to maintain, which hopefully means lower service rates as well.