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Sprint pulls back on commercial WiMAX launch

Thu, 04/03/2008 - 9:05am
Mike Robuck

Sprint Nextel is pushing back the commercial launch of its WiMAX service, called Xohm, until later this year, according to TheStreet.com.

TheStreet.com's report came out yesterday, but a story today by IDG News Services cited Barry West, CTO of Sprint and head of the Xohm business unit, as saying that Sprint will miss the target of commercial availability in April, though not by much.

In an interview at the CTIA Wireless 2008 tradeshow in Las Vegas this week, West said the problem of provisioning backhaul connections to the Internet was the main reason behind the delayed launch.

Sprint did a soft launch of the service to its employees in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Last week, Reuters reported that Sprint and Clearwire were in discussions to use their WiMAX assets in a joint venture (JV) funded by ComcastTime Warner CableIntel and Google (story here), but Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made no mention of the JV during a keynote address at CTIA (story here).

Sprint has said that it will spend $5 billion on WiMAX deployments by 2010, and the telco is currently in talks with Clearwire on roaming agreements between the two companies' WiMAX services. Reuters reported that both Sprint and Clearwire are actively seeking funding for their WiMAX services.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast throttles up wideband speed in Twin Cities 

• TWC readies 50 free HD channels, Start Over in NY/NJ

• Verizon launches HD VOD in parts of 8 more states 

• AT&T hooks up with Dish for service in former BellSouth territory 

• Moto has ready buyer for handset unit 

• Broadband Briefs for 4/3/08

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