US wireless subscribers have traditionally been behind the times when it comes to network technologies. It’s like everyone else gets all the good toys and we get the little brother hand-me-downs. Well, Sprint is looking to shake things up a bit. The company is gearing up to make 4G wireless data a commercial viability in the US by 2008. A nationwide 4G infrastructure build-out is no small (or cheap) task and recent reports speculated that Sprint would take on a partner to help roll out its WiMAX network – Clearwire Communications. Together, the two companies will split up the country into coverage regions and build-out their respective networks – while still allowing its customers to roam between the networks. The move effectively doubles the coverage available to either company, while keeping the cost of building a new network reasonable (if you call upwards of $3 billion reasonable).
Sprint will start initial construction on its WiMAX network by the end of 2007 and plans to launch the network in 2008 – offering 185 million subscribers 4G wireless data speeds up to 5x faster than current wireless networks. Sprint’s network will cover 75% of the 50 largest market in the US, while Clearwire will pick up coverage for about 115 million subscribers.
We love it when corporations play nice – that kind of cooperation usually bodes well for consumers. Finally, the US wireless market will be on the cutting edge – it was about time.
[Via: Yahoo News]