Representatives of Clearwire and Sprint Nextel, the third largest mobile carrier in the U.S., have announced a cooperative effort to convene a national WiMax wireless broadband network, which is the upcoming 4G technology standard. WiMax mobile technology has been developed to work over 5 times faster than contemporary 3rd generation wireless networks, and at a lower cost. Moreover, Intel and other big-name IT and telecommunications companies seem to see a bright future for WiMax, for they believe that WiMax chips will eventually be incorporated into various devices including laptops.
“The partnership will enable the two companies to accelerate their existing WiMax network plans and make more effective use of their wireless spectrum to build the first true nationwide WiMax network in the world and catapult the US into the lead in terms of 4G deployment.”
“‘Our joint efforts will result in customers benefiting from a more extensive network, operating sooner and using our respective spectrum more efficiently than either company could have on its own,’ added Ben Wolff, Clearwire’s chief executive.”
The announcement to invest $3 billion into constructing a WiMax network that consists of technologies from Samsung, Motorola, Intel, and Nokia was first made a year ago by Sprint Nextel. The objective was to service up to 100 million people by the end of 2008. Now it seems that the scope of the project has gotten slightly bigger. Under the agreement between Sprint and Clearwire, the two companies will build their own networks but will allow roaming across networks. Sprint will be getting a bigger piece of the action as it will service 75% of the people residing in the 50 biggest markets, and will build its network across a population of 185 million. Meanwhile, Clearwire has agreed to service 115 million people. Both companies plan to kick off their commercial services some time in the first half of 2008.