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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sprint Preparing Launch for WiMax Service

While Sprint's Xohm WiMax service isn't scheduled for an official widespread launch until next year, the company is planning a "soft" launch for the Washington DC, Chicago, and Baltimore areas within the next week.

Phone Scoop cites Bin Shen, Sprint's product management VP, as saying that the three metro areas will go live within a few days, but that the company will be staging a bigger launch in the second quarter of 2008, when several WiMAX-equipped laptops become available.

Sprint is also described as planning dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX handsets and a number of specialty WiMAX devices for launch later in 2008.

Higher Speeds, Shorter Waits

The Xohm service, based on 802.16e WiMAX, will offer users 2 to 4 megabits of speed and significantly lower latency than other high-speed wireless systems.

Tests conducted during a demonstration in Chicago in late September produced results of 3.2 megabits download and 1.5 megabits upload, with 70 millisecond's latency, while stationary, and only slightly worse numbers while moving.

This is considerably in excess of the proven capabilities of other wide-area wireless technologies such as Sprint's own EV-DO Revision A network, as well as the 3G technologies used by AT&T and other providers.

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