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WiMAX connectivity is coming to devices other than the cell phone and laptop

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced during his keynote at NXTcomm08 that Sprint would finally be rolling out its first commercial WiMAX market launch in Baltimore this September.

Sprint has two trial markets operating on its WiMAX network in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.  The networks in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Chicago were all deployed last year, but TelephonyOnline reports that so far in the two operating trial areas in Washington, D.C. and Chicago were only open to  employees.

WiMAX service in the Washington, D.C. and Chicago areas will also be opened to commercial markets this fall. Sprint’s plans for its WiMAX network have hit hard times as low profits and rising costs for deploying the networks along with key employee changes -- including Dan Hesse himself replacing former Sprint CEO Gary Forsee -- conspiring to delay the service repeatedly.

Much of the keynote was devoted to Sprint’s 4G plans and Sprint says that it intends to take WiMAX beyond the cell phone and notebook computer user. Sprint is looking to the embedded chip model to put WiMAX access and connectivity into all sorts of devices including navigation devices, MP3 players, digital cameras and the network of sensors and meters maintained by vertical industries.

Hesse said, “Consumers still can’t seem to get enough data. WiMAX can deliver blazing fast speeds to all manner of devices, not just cell phones. The embedded chip model allows us to break free of wireless cell phone group think.”

Sprint still sees WiMAX as being superior to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology that is favored by AT&T and Verizon. This superiority is almost exclusively tied to the fact that WiMAX will be in the market for several years before LTE appears.

Nortel announced recently that it would not support WiMAX at all and would instead focus its development efforts on LTE equipment for Verizon and AT&T citing that LTE is the most popular technology.





"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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