Sprint Nextel today announced further progress with the development of its upcoming Mobile WiMAX advanced multimedia network, citing wireless device and chipset initiatives while identifying additional service markets. Sprint is developing a large scale advanced wireless broadband network designed to mobilize the Internet, bring wireless innovation to devices and new multimedia mobile applications to customers. The company plans initial service launches in several markets by yearend 2007 and expects to make commercial service available in a number of markets by April 2008, ultimately reaching 100 million people across the country by yearend 2008.
"Sprint has taken a leadership role in the WiMAX network development arena and is working with other technology leaders to quickly bring advanced mobile broadband services to reality," said Barry West, president, 4G Mobile Broadband for Sprint. "Recent developments attest to the viability of our strategy, as more companies align with our vision and apply their expertise to the momentum building behind Sprint WiMAX services."
Sprint will work with WiMAX ecosystem partners and others to incorporate WiMAX technology in a range of computing, portable multi-media, interactive and other business and consumer electronic devices. By wirelessly enabling the multitude of stand-alone consumer electronic devices that currently lack connectivity or Internet access, Sprint will facilitate digital life amid a new era of user-generated content and Internet connectivity dependency. In support of that vision:
* Sprint has chosen Samsung for PC cards available in both single WiMAX mode and dual CDMA 1xEV DO/WiMAX mode for WiMAX service launch use. Additionally, Sprint has selected ZTE Corporation, China's largest listed telecommunications manufacturer and key WiMAX developer, to supply multiple WiMAX 802.16e devices including PC cards in express and USB form factors as well as advanced modem solutions; and ZyXEL Communications Inc. of Anaheim, Calif. for modem products.
* Sprint announced the launch of a new WiMAX Device and Chipset Ecosystem program in order to accelerate the pace of WiMAX-embedded device development and have a wide variety of WiMAX-enabled access devices available for customers. The program will facilitate the dialog between chipset and device makers, and is designed to guide manufacturers on required specifications, features, functionality and product design;
* Additional WiMAX service areas were identified for the 2008 launch calendar. Motorola will develop Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Minneapolis; Samsung will develop Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Washington D.C.; Nokia will develop Austin*, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Seattle. Additional location information will be provided when available.
* Sprint will demonstrate Mobile WiMAX technology at booth #2987 during CTIA Wireless 2007 March 27-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
These efforts are ultimately intended to allow Sprint customers to experience a nationwide mobile broadband network that is designed to offer faster speeds, lower cost, greater convenience and enhanced multimedia quality. The Sprint WiMAX mobile broadband 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.