Sprint Nextel and Clearwire will launch mobile WiMAX service in Kansas City early this summer, according to Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. The launch, in Sprint's home town, will roughly coincide with the release of the HTC Evo, Sprint's first WiMAX-enabled smartphone.
Hesse made the announcement at a business event in Kansas City. Clearwire said in February that Kansas City would be one of many markets it will light up this year, but the company did not provide a more specific timetable. In late March, Clearwire said it plans to launch service in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and St. Louis this year, in addition to New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver and Minneapolis, markets it had previously announced.
Hesse also touched on one of the wireless industry's hot-button issues: net neutrality. On Tuesday, in a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the FCC overstepped its statutory authority when it cited Comcast in 2008 for preventing users from accessing peer-to-peer file sharing services. The Sprint chief said he supports parts of net neutrality, but does not think the FCC needs to codify net neutrality regulations.
"Let's wait until something is a real problem before we go in there and potentially ruin this great engine called the Internet," Hesse said.
- see this Kansas City Business Journal article
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