Sprint Nextel announced that Nokia has been named a key infrastructure and consumer electronic device provider for its 4G WiMAX next generation mobility network. Nokia joins Intel, Samsung and Motorola in creating the advanced network infrastructure and access devices which will be designed to allow consumers, businesses and governments to experience high bandwidth mobile Internet connectivity at access speeds significantly higher than today's wireless networks beginning late 2007.
Sprint Nextel last August announced the selection of WiMAX (IEEE802.16e-2005) technology for a next generation wireless network which would utilize the company's extensive 2.5GHz spectrum assets, and formation of a unique business ecosystem designed to spur widespread adoption of WiMAX devices and services. This combination creates a time-to-market advantage for implementing the first large scale mobile WiMAX network expected to cover at least 100 million people by year-end 2008.
"Sprint Nextel is forming a world class ecosystem around mobile WiMAX technology to deliver unprecedented mobile broadband services to customers," said Barry West, Sprint Nextel president, 4G Mobile Broadband. "A company of Nokia's global stature fortifies the foundation of Sprint's mobility vision and will help make Sprint's WiMAX multimedia services pervasive and indispensable for customers."
The strategic relationship with Nokia involves network infrastructure, mobile device and market development commitments. Under the agreement Nokia will:
- Be a major supplier to Sprint for WiMAX network infrastructure, including the market-leading Nokia Flexi WiMAX base transceiver stations which bring significant site and operating cost savings,
- Develop and market WiMAX-enabled mobile devices in significant volumes, including multimedia computers and Internet tablets,
- Jointly develop mobility services and applications to improve the customer experience, and
- Conduct co-marketing efforts to drive market development and support global adoption to help establish worldwide roaming.
"Nokia shares Sprint Nextel's mobile broadband vision and is proud to join its industry-leading WiMAX ecosystem," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia Corp. "WiMAX is an ideal technology for open Internet models in all major global markets. With Sprint's leadership, the next generation network will offer innovative mobile broadband services, connecting people with content and technology in new and exciting ways."
Sprint Nextel is expecting to invest up to $800 million in 2007 and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2008 relating to the 4G WiMAX mobile broadband network. Sprint Nextel's goal is to have a broad range of mobile WiMAX-enabled chipsets and modules and an array of portable data, multimedia and consumer electronics devices available from multiple vendors which work seamlessly among Sprint's network offerings. As a result, customers will experience an interactive mobile data network that is designed to offer faster speeds, lower cost, greater convenience and enhanced multimedia content.