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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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By UNCjigga on 8/17/2007 12:10:03 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously, I think this is one of the dumbest brand names I've heard in a while, but I guess nowadays its all about "multilanguage branding" and owning teh Google keyword search FTW.

/me crosses legs, puts palms together in front of chest and meditates


By ninjit on 8/17/2007 12:51:31 PM , Rating: 3
Yeh, How can they seriously think that sounds better than "Sprint WiMax"

Plus listen to this guy's quote:
WiMAX service is being designed to create synergies among disparate industries through an ecosystem of...

Sheesh, he must be shopping at Buzzword-Bonanza, I don't think he has a clue what he's talking about.

By theapparition on 8/20/2007 7:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
Anytime the word "synergy" is used in a press release, run away..........

By kamra on 8/17/2007 12:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
yeah... i have to agree, it's hard to pronounce. Still, the idea of 4G is pretty cool; that is to have a bunch of devices constantly connected. i wonder if we'll start to have firewalls & anti-virus programs for these mobile devices?

By UNCjigga on 8/17/2007 2:15:21 PM , Rating: 5
I can see it now...
"ZOHMG I gets teh Intarweb and pr0ns in 4G!!!"

By Gul Westfale on 8/17/2007 8:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
lol +1 for you.

By therealnickdanger on 8/17/2007 10:09:26 AM , Rating: 3
I hope it makes it to the Minneapolis market soon. Right now I'm loving the EVDO connection I get through Sprint. So cheap for literal mobile broadband. $10/month on top of my phone plan and I can surf the web while driving! (jk)

I just hope it doesn't require a new service charge when it rolls out. I'd rather just see it rolled into the existing data plan.

RE: Awesome!
By BioHazardous on 8/17/2007 10:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't put much research into mobile broadband or any of the new wireless technology out there for cell phones. I'm guessing in the next year I'm going to upgrade my cell phone, and want to have the ability to have a broadband connection with it. Not so much for surfing the web on my phone, I don't care too much for that. What I'm really interested in doing is building an in dash PC for my car with an external GPS device and the ability to connect to my cell phone's mobile broadband connection. That way I could have a GPS system in my car that links up with like google earth.

That and be able to play warfish at work whenever I want since my work blocks a lot of websites :)

Anyway, my whole point in posting is to get comments from people about what they think about mobile broadband, the different carriers, technologies and devices available today and what's in the pipe for release soon.

RE: Awesome!
By therealnickdanger on 8/17/2007 10:40:21 AM , Rating: 2
For starters, you should check out the forum and search for PDANet threads. Lots of good info. You would be wise to invest (free with new subscription) in a PDA phone like the Moto Q.

RE: Awesome!
By JWalk on 8/18/2007 8:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
I second that. I have a Q through Sprint, and I am enjoying EV-DO. I can watch TV on it from my Slingbox, listen to Sirius radio, or tether it to my laptop for mobile internet. Happy with my purchase so far. :)

I love the EDVO network
By Durrr on 8/17/2007 10:37:57 AM , Rating: 2
I used it as a primary internet connection as a test here recently, and even played some games on it. 90ms ping times and 1.3meg/485k type connection. Worked out great. If it gets much better, I may just use my cell phone service as my primary ISP.

RE: I love the EDVO network
By BioHazardous on 8/17/2007 12:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
Is the EDVO network what AT&T offers? What phone do you have?

RE: I love the EDVO network
By JWalk on 8/18/2007 8:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
EV-DO is only available through Sprint and Verizon, I believe.

By ObscureCaucasian on 8/17/2007 12:34:07 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa you got some good ping times for EVDO. My EVDO connection from Alltel usually pings around 200ms. It was good enough to play the Halo 3 beta on, but games like Gears of War just don't cut it.

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.

Re: Awesome
By TheKrud on 8/19/2007 1:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
At the rate they rolled out EVDO rev.A I'd be surprised if they sat on their hands with this one. It was less than a year from start to nationwide with rev. A if I'm not mistaken.

I hope that they'll go the same price plan for the WiMax too, but if not, EVDO still beats the tar outta dial-up for me.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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