Sprint has soft launched its WiMAX network this week in Chicago and Baltimore-Washington D.C. as planned. The initial trial is limited to Sprint employees only and the carrier has not disclosed what hardware the users will have to connect to the network. Nokia and Samsung have both inked deals with the carrier for WiMAX-enabled devices. These initial test markets will become commercially available during the first quarter of next year and Sprint expects a full commercial launch during the second quarter of 2008.
In related news, WiMAX chipmaker Beceem announced the completion of initial interoperability testing between Beceem's chipset and Sprint's WiMAX infrastructure as part of the Sprint Mobile WiMAX device launch preparations.
"This is a big deal because it signifies the technical readiness of the overall solution. It means the network is ready to go in 2008," said Beceem's Lars Johnsson, vice president of business development, in an interview with FierceBroadbandWireless. "It's really the building block for everything else to follow
Big deal because signifies the technical readiness of the overall solution. On top of that is product availability and channel and distribution models, subscriber management and it's really the building block for everything else to follow.
Â For more on Sprint's WiMAX trial and Beceem's announcement:
- read this article from InformationWeek
- check out this release