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Sprint, Clearwire resuming WiMAX talks?

updated 03:20 pm EST, Tue January 29, 2008

Sprint Clearwire WiMAX

Both Sprint and Clearwire are back to discussing a previously-ended deal that would see a shared WiMAX effort, according to people speaking with the Wall Street Journal. In spite of ending talks just last year after failing to come to an agreement, both companies are reportedly once again prepared to explore a deal that would let customers of either Clearwire or Sprint roam on each other's WiMAX networks, saving both companies from having to build out an entire national network themselves. The new strategy would see Sprint's WiMAX service, named Xohm, spun off as a separate entity and merged with Clearwire to create a single, unified service.

This may be accomplished partly by striking deals with major companies with a vested interest in seeing WiMAX succeed, the Journal states. Companies such as Best Buy, Google, and WiMAX's chief creator Intel are allegedly being asked to help finance the fourth-generation wireless network and subsidize the cost of its development.

The apparent news has reinvigorated hopes for WiMAX, which soft-launched earlier this month with testers in key US cities but has been under constant doubt after its chief proponent, Gary Forsee, was shunted from Sprint's CEO position by a board anxious about the company's future. Analysts have also worried that WiMAX will be overtaken by LTE, a competing 4G service which is believed to be both faster and is gaining more carrier support than WiMAX.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Amitabh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Best Alliance Possible!

    The deal if it goes through will give a new dimension to mobile WiMAX in the US and perhaps in parts of Europe. Embroiled as they are in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, the companies have bid over $19 Billion for 700 MHz spectrum, which has just now been declared as one for which certification profiles" will be announced" by the WiMAX forum. However Sprint and Clearwire can sew together virtually all of the mobile WiMAX spectrum in the 2.5-2.69 GHz, the band where certified Wave 2 devices with MIMO are set to be available anytime now. The support of Inel, will also help with the chipsets and customer devices the last remaining link for success of this new technology. It is to be remembered that the competition will be with the Mobile industry at the prime of its life with mobile handset launches averaging one a day, mobile multimedia on the go and WiFi connectivity et el. Hence the new combination presents one of the best opportunities for success against the industry in the prime as well as one yet to be born in the 700 MHz band with a handicap of Billions of dollars in spectrum charges weighing down the business plans. Amitabh Kumar

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