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
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.