Mobility innovator Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced increased momentum for its Xohm WiMAX mobile broadband initiative, citing new access device developments, simplified network connectivity and an international operator alliance. The progress was reported from the WiMAX World USA conference in Chicago, an initial launch market for the advanced mobile Internet service set for commercial launch in a number of U.S. cities beginning the second quarter of 2008, and reaching 100 million people by year end.
“We are experiencing progress on every front with Xohm WiMAX implementation as well as new endorsements of Sprint’s mobile Internet vision,” remarked Barry West, Sprint Nextel CTO and president, Xohm business unit. The recent developments include:
- PC manufacturers Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba have expressed intent to embed WiMAX into their next generation Intel Centrino-based laptops and ultra mobile PCs in 2008, so these devices can connect with the Xohm WiMAX network;
- Upcoming Nokia Internet tablet devices will incorporate Intel WiMAX silicon, and will be among the first WiMAX-enabled open Internet devices expected to ship in 2008;
- Motorola announced a mobile WiMAX chipset modem solution for handheld devices, adding to the development of the eco-system of devices enabled with WiMAX;
- Xohm customers will have simplified connectivity among network access choices. Trellia Networks Inc. of Montreal, Canada will provide a multi-communication connection manager software client for Xohm network access devices to enhance the Xohm customer mobility experience;
- Industry interest is rising. Korea Telecom has entered into a memo of understanding with Sprint for cooperation on the promotion of WiMAX to drive roaming, manufacturing scale and ecosystem development in support of global WiMAX adoption.
“There have been a number of encouraging developments with carriers around the globe, from announced market trials to WiMAX Forum membership,” said West. “This will drive efficiencies and enhance roaming and interoperability, and hasten the day when a customer can seamlessly roam and have a WiMAX experience in other regions of the world.”
Sprint is developing a nationwide advanced wireless broadband network designed to mobilize the Internet, bring wireless innovation to devices and deliver new mobile multimedia applications to consumer, business and government customers. The company is working with ecosystem partners and others to incorporate WiMAX technology in a range of computing, portable multi-media, interactive and other consumer electronic devices, including the availability of Xohm WiMAX service in vehicles for navigation information, news and entertainment. Sprint estimates that 50 million WiMAX-enabled devices will be available within three years.
Xohm customers will be able to experience a new form of interactive communications, high-speed Internet browsing, social networking tools, local and location-centric services, and multimedia services including music, video, TV and on-demand products through a new mobile portal.
The company plans WiMAX pre-commercial service in the Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas by year-end 2007. Commercial service is expected to be available in a number of markets starting April 2008 and anticipated to cover 100 million people by year-end 2008 in conjunction with a planned partnership with Clearwire.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving 54 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.