According to reports circling the Internet, the US government plans to buy Sprint's iDEN network in the next five years in order to connect Homeland Security personnel through the same network. As part of the exchange for the network the FCC will supposedly grant Sprint a good portion of 700Mhz and 800Mhz spectrum for WiMax deployment. Sprint Nextel customers will be given dual mode CDMA/iDEN handsets so that as the government restricts more and more of the iDEN network, the subscribers can switch to CDMA. The report claims that if WiMax does not take off, the government will give Sprint 2.5 GHz spectrum for an alternative technology.
Although the report is far-reaching and assuming, it does propose an interesting scenario that gels with some of Sprint's current events. The recent co-branding deal Sprint struck with Comcast, Time Warner and Cox could be the companies positioning for future WiMax deployments. Supposedly, WiMax start-ups have gotten wind of this and they are heading to Washington, DC. Let me know if you're in town and we'll grab a drink.
For more on the rumored Sprint iDEN deal:
- check out this blog entry