Sprint, Motorola to trial WiMAX
Sprint today announced it has reached an agreement with Motorola to trial wireless broadband technologies and equipment, particularly those related to 802.16e, or WiMAX.
Khurram Sheikh, chief technical adviser and senior director of Sprint’s broadband wireless department, said the agreement with Motorola does not mean Sprint is committed to WiMAX, a much-ballyhooed wireless data technology that could have a mobile standard approved early in 2006.
In fact, Nextel Communications–the wireless carrier with which Sprint is expected to merge during the third quarter–yesterday announced it will trial wireless broadband in the Washington, D.C., area using UMTS TDD technology from IPWireless. Previously, Nextel trailed Flarion’s FLASH-OFDM in North Carolina.
While the exact technology to be deployed is unknown, there is little question that the post-merger Sprint Nextel will seek to utilize its considerable spectrum at 2.5 GHz to deliver next-generation wireless services.
“We are pretty committed to keeping that spectrum,” Sheikh said.
Sprint spokesman John Polivka said the Motorola announcement is another key partnership in Sprint’s exploration of WiMAX. In May, Sprint announced an agreement with Intel, and more partnerships with companies in the services and applications sectors are expected to be announced in the future.