Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sprint's WiMax Wholesale Move Means There Is No Worries LTE Competitor Going Away Any Time Soon

Sprint will be begin a new wholesale program to sell Clearwire's WiMax network.  The significance of this is that it assure Sprint and Clearwire partners as well as customers who have invested equipment to run on this 4G network will not see their devices obsolete with nothing to connect to in a year or two.  

I imagine that WiMax will continue to have a role to play in the US even after Sprint's own LTE plans come to fruition.  After all, the WiMax network is here and working just fine.  It would make sense that Sprint will maximize its investment and continue to draw cash from WiMax users how aren't ready to give up their broadband of choice.

And in the next few years, there will be more and more WiMax devices deployed.  Obviously, the bulk of these devices will be running on Android.  And it makes sense that Sprint and Clearwire would have to continue to build and maintain the WiMax network. 

And speaking of wholesale, Sprint has a deal with LightSquared to build out its own LTE network.  There are three things to consider.  One, there is no LTE network right now.  Second, it'll take a couple of years for it to be ready and even longer to cover enough of the US market to satisfactorily support hundreds of millions of users.

And third, there is no arrangement that will allow Sprint to sell the LTE access wholesale.  

So, if you're considering a WiMax Android device,  your two-year commitment with Sprint will be up long before the LTE network is deployed.  And even after that should you chose to continue using it, you will still be able to access WiMax for years beyond that.  Also, keep in mind that WiMax is close to serving one billion users worldwide.  LTE subscribers does not come close

Source:  PC World via Light Reading.

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