Nokia's N810 mobile Internet tablet will be one of the first devices designed for a new high-speed wireless network that Sprint Nextel Corp will launch commercially in April.
Nokia on Tuesday unveiled a version of the handheld device, which has
a 4.13-inch touch screen, for WiMax -- the emerging wireless
technology that Sprint is betting on for its next generation of
WiMax promises to blanket cities with mobile Web links that are five
times faster than today's speeds. Like the first N810, which went on
sale in the fall, the new version will also work on Wi-Fi, a
short-range wireless technology used in hotspots such in coffee shops.
"The difference with WiMax is that you can move out of that hotspot,"
Mark Louison, head of Nokia's North American business, said in an
interview ahead of the CTIA annual U.S. wireless show in Las Vegas.
Sprint has promised to open the network to a wide
array of devices, such as music players or cameras, which consumers
could buy from any store. The three initial markets are Chicago,
Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Sprint has said it would have 10 WiMax
devices at launch.
There has been uncertainty about the U.S. future of WiMax. Sprint,
which is losing customers from its existing service, has said it is
re-examining its commitment to spend $5 billion on WiMax by 2010.
Even if the U.S. WiMax market evolves more slowly than expected,
Louison said Nokia was confident it would find a market for the N810
The WiMax N810 will be available from Nokia's online store and its
shops in New York and Chicago for $479, Nokia said.