Sprint Nextel Corp. today announced its plans to develop and deploy the first fourth generation (4G) nationwide broadband mobile network. The 4G wireless broadband network will use the mobile WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) IEEE 802.16e-2005 technology standard.
Working together with Intel, Motorola and Samsung, Sprint Nextel will develop a nationwide network infrastructure as well as mobile WiMAX-enabled chipsets that will support advanced wireless broadband services for computing, portable multimedia, interactive and other consumer electronic devices. These efforts are intended to allow Sprint Nextel customers to experience a nationwide mobile data network that is designed to offer faster speeds, lower cost, and greater convenience and enhanced multimedia quality.
The Sprint Nextel 4G mobility network will use the company's extensive 2.5GHz spectrum holdings, which cover 85 percent of the households in the top 100 U.S. markets - the most of any wireless carrier in any single spectrum band. To access that network, Sprint Nextel will work with Intel, Motorola and Samsung to incorporate WiMAX technology for advanced wireless communications and help make chipsets widely available for new consumer electronics devices, connecting consumers to the Internet and to each other while providing them with the flexibility to do what they want or need to do regardless of time or place.
"None of us today can envision our lives without wireless connectivity or the Internet," explained Gary Forsee, president and chief executive officer of Sprint Nextel. "Sprint Nextel is taking a major step forward by linking the incredible potential of these two cornerstones of daily communications. We'll give customers the power to harness business information and personal entertainment easily and inexpensively -- and in ways that they will one day wonder how they lived without.
This announcement is another step in Sprint Nextel's broadband mobility leadership, and we expect to establish a first-to-market next generation network advantage. We will have a unique broadband capability for meeting the growing access and mobile Internet needs of businesses, governments and consumers when and where they want."
In working together with Intel, Motorola, and Samsung, Sprint Nextel has the experience, network infrastructure, spectrum and distribution channels to make 4G mobility services pervasive and indispensable for customers. The company's deployment plans target a launch of the advanced wireless broadband services in trial markets by the end of 2007 with plans to deploy a network that reaches as many as 100 million people in 2008. Sprint Nextel plans to expand mobile WiMAX network coverage thereafter.
The company will continue to invest in and offer access to its current wireless and Sprint Power VisionSM mobile broadband networks to serve customer communications needs today and into the future. As evidenced by its strong data results and expanding 3G broadband network, Sprint Nextel continues its innovation and leadership in driving mobile data.
New Business Model
Sprint Nextel has created a unique business model designed to foster the rapid deployment and adoption of mobile WiMAX technology in the United States and abroad. Sprint Nextel is expecting to invest $1 billion in 2007 and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2008 relating to the 4G mobile broadband network. The WiMAX technology to be deployed in the network is expected to offer a cost-per-megabit and performance advantage that reflects a substantial improvement in the comparable costs for the current 3G mobile broadband offerings.
Commitments from Intel, Motorola and Samsung in the areas of market development, mobile WiMAX devices and other contributions to Sprint Nextel's core business are expected to accelerate Sprint Nextel's goal of deploying services and market adoption. Motorola and Samsung will also support Sprint's current and CDMA/EV-DO network technologies by creating multimode devices that will support services on both the 4G network and the 3G network in areas outside the planned 4G coverage, and will provide voice service using the core 3G network. The 4G broadband network will offer a complementary, high-bandwidth service driven by data centric devices.
Intel, one of the early members of the WiMAX Forum and one of the key contributors to the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard, will deliver next generation WiMAX solutions for Centrino Mobile Technology and next generation computing devices. Intel will bring its extensive history in device-to-network verification as well as marketing expertise to expose customers to the breadth of new WiMAX capabilities and services.
Motorola has been a long-standing proponent of WiMAX and will offer Sprint Nextel both single- and multimode devices designed to enable seamless mobility for users, while playing a major role in its WiMAX infrastructure roll-out. Since Motorola is the exclusive supplier of iDEN technology as well as a major supplier of CDMA and EV-DO Revision A technology, it can offer a complete end-to-end solution (from radio access network equipment to both single- and multimode mobile devices) and is uniquely positioned to expand the seamless mobility experience into the wireless mobile broadband market.
Samsung Telecommunications America will be a primary Mobile WiMAX infrastructure supplier to Sprint Nextel and will also deliver dual-mode devices supporting Mobile WiMAX and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, designed to enable Sprint's Mobile WiMAX users to utilize Sprint Nextel's existing 3G network resources. With its installation of networks in South Korea and other markets, Samsung Electronics is the first to commercially deploy Mobile WiMAX and with its alliance with Sprint Nextel will bring this global expertise to North America. Samsung is the global leader in delivering Mobile WiMAX technologies and offers Sprint a total solution including chipsets, infrastructure, mobile devices and consumer electronics focused on Mobile WiMAX and dual-mode WiMAX/CDMA services delivery.
Sprint Nextel's long-term goal is to have a broad range of mobile WiMAX-enabled chipsets and modules and an array of portable data and consumer electronics devices available from multiple vendors which work seamlessly among Sprint's network offerings. To that end, Sprint Nextel and other leading consumer electronic companies are planning to form a strategic marketing and product alliance for the purpose of introducing innovative consumer electronic devices and multimedia content solutions using Sprint's 4G mobile WiMAX network.
"Sprint Nextel has built its success on being a pioneer -- beginning with its rollout of the first nationwide digital fiber optic network 20 years ago," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel. "With the choice of mobile WiMAX for its 4G mobile broadband technology, Sprint Nextel again helps move the U.S. to the forefront of technology innovation and competitiveness. Sprint Nextel's decision confirms Intel's belief that WiMAX is the wireless technology of choice to deliver affordable broadband access. Intel is pleased to work with Sprint Nextel, Motorola and Samsung to bring the promise of mobile broadband and WiMAX to consumers nationwide."
Motorola Chairman and CEO, Ed Zander, stated, "We are excited that Sprint Nextel has selected WiMAX, and we believe that mobile WiMAX is a perfect choice for a visionary company like Sprint Nextel. Today's announcement is another milestone in Motorola's focused strategy to continue to expand and grow our wireless broadband business and advance our vision of seamless wireless broadband mobility. We expect that this decision from one of America's leading carriers and the largest holder of 2.5GHz spectrum will influence the adoption of mobile WiMAX by other carriers worldwide."
KiTae Lee, president of Samsung Electronics' Telecommunication Network Business, stated, "I believe Sprint Nextel's decision to deploy Mobile WiMAX as the 4G network technology will set a milestone in the U.S. telecommunication industry's history and contribute to further advancements in wireless technology. Mobile WiMAX has the fastest data transfer rate among the existing wireless technologies and is based on all-IP technology. Mobile WiMAX-based services will create a new paradigm shift in wireless services and improve consumer lifestyles. I believe that Sprint Nextel will successfully provide this mobile WiMAX technology based service and begin a new revolution in mobile broadband services nationwide."