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Sprint has big plans for its WiMAX technology, including up to $5 billion in investments

Sprint Nextel described plans during the Sprint Ahead Technology Summit regarding its WiMAX services. Rather than simply calling it WiMAX, Sprint will market the technology as “XOHM” – pronounced like ZOAM.

A soft launch of the WiMAX network is expected by the end of 2007 in the Chicago and Baltimore/Washington markets. XOHM commercial services are expected to be available beginning in the first half of 2008. The company expects to begin offering 4G mobile broadband services up to two years ahead of other national wireless carriers.

Barry West, president of 4G Mobile Broadband and Sprint’s CTO, noted that XOHM is “expected to mobilize the Internet by driving the convergence of telecommunications, consumer electronics and the computer industries. WiMAX service is being designed to create synergies among disparate industries through an ecosystem of chipsets, devices, networks, services/content and distribution to deliver broadband with speeds up to five times faster than current third-generation wireless devices.” West added that ecosystem partners, including Google, have committed to embed 50 million WiMAX chipsets in devices.

Under its planned network sharing agreement with Clearwire, which was announced last month, Sprint Nextel currently expects the network buildout to reach 100 million people by the end of 2008 with Sprint providing coverage to 70 million and Clearwire to 30 million people. Sprint’s coverage is expected to grow to approximately 125 million people by the end of 2010. At that level of buildout, the potential market would include an estimated 48 million U.S. households, nearly 5 million small office/home office subscribers, and more than 130 million consumer electronics devices – according to Sprint’s estimates.

Sprint Nextel expects to invest approximately $2.5 billion in capital for WiMAX through year-end 2008. Beyond 2008, network build is expected to be increasingly success-based. The company currently expects that extending its coverage to approximately 125 million people by year-end 2010 would require an additional capital expenditure of approximately $2.5 billion for a total investment of $5 billion.

The WiMAX initiative is expected to generate positive Free Cash Flow beginning in 2011 as the annual OIBDA contribution is expected to exceed capital expenditures, working capital and other cash requirements.

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That money should be spent somewhere else
By AlexWade on 8/17/2007 1:56:23 PM , Rating: 1
Why spend $5 billion on new technology when your old technology is pitiful. I can give you the names of dozens of people who have or had Sprint cell phones and everyone agrees they suck. Nextel used to be a good company, now I have a better chance of jumping into the ocean from Wyoming than to have a Nextel phone ring when called. Seriously. I have several friends on Nextel and lately, it always go to voice mail, no exception. Then they call me right back. At first, I asked if the phone rang, they always said no.

Sprint, you suck. And your customer service sucks too. Why spend $5 billion on WiMax when you can't wireless right in the first place?

By UNCjigga on 8/17/2007 2:18:26 PM , Rating: 1
Why spend $5 billion on new technology when your old technology is pitiful.
LOL! Did you just answer your question or are you missing the obvious? In other words, would you rather spend millions trying to patch a "pitiful" technology or do you just bite the bullet and build a new network?

RE: That money should be spent somewhere else
By mxzrider2 on 8/17/2007 11:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
in my area its Sprint/Nextel or nothing in my opinion. An i live in nearly Wyo, north co, and i get EVDO and i don't even live in a town, and about 20 miles from the nearest, and burst up to 2.4megs a sec, hooked to my pc. and i get service all the way up the canyons, to Colorado national park.

By Ringold on 8/18/2007 2:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
I was recently out in the middle of nowhere in Brown County, Indiana, looking at a home. The neighbors were complaining about how they'd been promised broadband in "just a couple months" for about 4 years now. If you get it in the canyons, then I'll definitely have to check that out.. Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't aware of that kind of coverage, figured it didn't extend past major metro areas!

If it works I shall welcome my new Sprint overlord.

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