Report: Flagship WiMax project in trouble

Sprint Nextel and Clearwire ending agreement to jointly build a high-speed wireless network across the US

A flagship project to build a WiMax network in the United States is reportedly in peril.

According to The Wall Street Journal, mobile operators Sprint Nextel and Clearwire are scrapping their agreement to jointly build a nationwide high-speed wireless network based on WiMax technology.

The two operators had announced in July that they would work together in order to share costs, to provide network coverage to 100 million people by the end of 2008, and would jointly sell wireless broadband to businesses and consumers, as well as offer services to the US government and public safety agencies.

However, according to the Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter, the complexities of the transaction and the departure last month of Sprint chief executive Gary Forsee, has made it too difficult to reach a final agreement.

The details of this WiMax network had been expected to be finalized by mid-September, but doubts emerged last week when acting Sprint CEO Paul Saleh said that the two companies were still in discussions.

The recent departure of ex-Sprint CEO Gary Forsee has also prompted speculation that Sprint may scale back its own WiMax network, known as Xohm, as the operator struggles to cut spending and halt subscriber losses.

Sprint has pledged to spend US$5 billion on Xohm by 2010, but the markets are worried over the commercial viability of the WiMax network, despite its ability to offer faster wireless connection speeds over a greater distance compared to Wi-Fi. WiMax has also been officially accepted as a 3G standard, thus allowing operators to run WiMax in spectrum designed for 3G phone networks.

Clearwire had been hoping to use the Sprint deal to expand its geographical coverage of its network in the United States, and share the massive network build costs. And the news also will be of concern to chip giant Intel, the principal backer of WiMax, alongside the likes of Nokia, Motorola and Samsung Electronics.

Indeed, the Wall Street Journal has suggested (once again citing people familiar with the matter) that some of these companies could inject financing into Clearwire, to help keep its WiMax project on track.

Both Clearwire and Sprint are currently the only two US operators pursuing a WiMax rollout, as they both own complementary swathes of radio spectrum around the United States.

In the U.K., Pipex is planning a WiMax service with support from Intel.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Jowitt

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?