Sprint pegs rollout of WiMax in Baltimore-Washington for later this year
Tests with Samsung shows the service to be commercially ready
Computerworld - Sprint Nextel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Corp. today declared high-speed wireless WiMax technology ready for commercial service, and Sprint said it plans on launching commercial WiMax in Washington and Baltimore "later this year."
Washington and Baltimore have joined Chicago in a "soft rollout" of the technology in recent months, in which Sprint workers use and test the technology, a Sprint spokesman said last week. Despite today's announcement about Washington and Baltimore, no commercial rollout projection for Chicago was mentioned, however. When asked about Chicago, a Sprint spokesman said "there will be further progress to report at another time."
The two companies said testing of overall performance, including successful wireless handoffs between cell towers without delay, had met Sprint's "rigorous commercial acceptance criteria." Testing was conducted in laboratories, as well as in the Baltimore-Washington area, the companies said.
Samsung has been working with Sprint to build and test the mobile broadband WiMax service, now branded Xohm, since June 2007. There were lab tests, followed by field tests in October and then interoperability tests with "multiple" other device vendors in April. Those devices included a WiMax-capable laptop by Nokia Corp., a Samsung WiMax express card for laptops and a Zyxel WiMax modem, a spokesman said. Nokia is building WiMax-capable phones and other devices, and Intel Corp. has been developing chip sets for use in laptops and ultramobile PCs. Samsung also introduced several WiMax devices last month, including the WiMax express card for laptops and an Ultra Premium Mobile PC with embedded WiMax.
In a statement, Sprint's Xohm division President Barry West said the WiMax ecosystem being built with Samsung and other partners proves that the collaboration "can deliver this new technology to the marketplace well ahead of any feasible alternative."
Last week, West announced plans to create a $14.5 billion joint venture with Clearwire Inc. to provide a national WiMax network. He and other Sprint executives said that 120 million to 140 million people would have WiMax access by the end of 2010, although they admitted it was an aggressive prediction. By comparison, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless are supporting Long Term Evolution for fast wireless connections they believe could reach a mass market in 2011 to 2012.
West and other Sprint executives were expected to announce the joint venture in early April and give an update on a commercial rollout at that time. But at CTIA in early April, West said there had been problems with providing backhaul links to new WiMax cell sites, although few details were provided.
Phillip Redman, an analyst at Gartner Inc., said it was "somewhat strange" that Chicago was not mentioned in today's announcement, although he knew of no particular problems with the Chicago soft launch, which is based on equipment by Motorola Inc.
For Sprint to say it will announce commercial availability for later this year is somewhat later than midyear, which Redman said was Sprint's original timetable. But he said delays of a national network are commonplace. Sprint said it has not announced an official timetable for rolling out WiMax.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Top 12 Laptop Bags for Mobile Pros
- Think Deleted Text Messages Are Gone Forever? Think Again
- 7 New Faces of the C-suite
- 5 Ways CIOs Can Rationalize Application Portfolios
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Harmonize Your Communications Experience: Are you leading a double life? Bring your own device. Embrace flexible work lifestyles. Be mobile. Welcome to the era of the anywhere worker.
- Infographic: Team Effectiveness Work is changing. We're global, mobile and distributed - we're virtual teams. This infographic illustrates our 2013 survey of over 1700 people around...
- Unify top five predictions in enterprise communications for 2014 Around the globe, a new way to work is taking hold - and 2014 will be a turning point.
- Three Best Practices to Help Government Agencies Overcome BYOD Challenges This paper highlightschallenges facing government IT in a BYOD environment and discusses strategies for network preparation, ongoing support, and securing information to enable...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more