Sprint Nextel and Samsung early next year will launch a series of lab and field trials of 802.16e-based products offering 1 Mbps average throughput in the 2.5 GHz band. The companies thus become the first in the US to conduct major tests of the mobile version of WiMax. 802.16e is expected to be ratified by the IEEE later this year. Sprint will be using a wireless modem and a cellular/WiMax handset in the trials. Note that Sprint has every incentive to enter these trials, as the company owns 2.5 GHz spectrum in markets which cover 85 percent of the US population.
Sprint will be offering a variety of data technologies to meet the different needs of different customers. The company already offers WiFi hotspot service in 19,000 locations, mostly through roaming agreements with other companies, and plans to expand the number of hotspots to 25,000 by year's end. Sprint is also offering CDMA 1x EV-DO service in 75 markets and is currently expanding coverage within these markets. It will offer EV-DO in 200 markets by early 2006. EV-DO's average throughput is 300 Kbps to 500 Kbps. Sprint also plans to offer EV-DO Revision A further to accelerate CDMA 1x data speeds.
For more on Sprint's strategy:
- see Joseph Palenchar's Twice report
PLUS: Alcatel says it has achieved a world first by delivering IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) based services over a WiMax radio access network. Report
ALSO: Intel is currently involved with WiMax trials in Thailand and Malaysia. Story
FINALLY: Intel is also eying a launch of WiMax in Nigeria and Kenya. Story