Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Sprint: we're only using WiMAX for 4G

updated 12:30 pm EDT, Sun October 31, 2010

Sprint CEO says WiMAX its only 4G choice

Sprint chief Dan Hesse followed up on earlier comments with a new discussion emphasizing the company's current 4G plans. He explained to GigaOM that, despite toying with LTE, the company's network would use WiMAX "full stop." Tests with the other format were in case Sprint needed to support multi-mode phones that supported both formats.

The decision to choose WiMAX over the more broadly-accepted LTE was a matter of speed, Hesse explained. Getting it first meant it would have an established network earlier. Verizon isn't due to switch on its 4G network until the end of this year, while AT&T and T-Mobile won't do the same until sometime in 2011.

"When we had the opportunity to move into 4G, WiMAX was the only 4G interface, and it was perfect with the spectrum we owned," the CEO said. "We moved to establish the network because we didn't want to wait, and we believe that being first to the market is an advantage."

He also dismissed prospects of Clearwire working with T-Mobile in the wake of Sprint executives leaving Clearwire's board. Sprint still owned a 54 percent stake in Clearwire and wasn't going to see its WiMAX partner jump to T-Mobile in the near future.

The emphasis on WiMAX has been a gamble for Sprint. It has given the carrier advanced phones like the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G roughly a year before competitors could have their own 4G phones, but the move may lock Sprint out of using phones similar to many of its competitors. Without LTE, it won't have access to the same 4G phones as on most other American and international carriers. It could particularly hurt long-term prospects for the iPhone; the anticipated CDMA model would work on Sprint as-is, but Apple is more likely to embrace LTE since it would cover a much wider range of carriers.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +4

    Haste makes waste

    Being first to market isn't very useful if means your technology becomes obsolete sooner than everybody else's and isolates you from the rest of the industry at the same time. Considering how expensive it would be to overhaul your entire network yet again in just a few years if this gamble doesn't work out, it's really not worth it.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -9

    comment title

    Theres one reason they want CrapMax, it dont use SIM cards and thus, allows for a perfect monopoly, something Sprint has wanted for a long time. Sprint is by far the most monopolistic evil cellular carrier put on this planet, and I hope that Dan a**, as well as all other Satan employees die in the most painful way for even working for that sinful pile of scamming c*** some like to call a company. They only utilize monopolistic SIMless technologies like CDMA and WiMax so they can lock down customers. I cant WAIT till the day this company goes out of business, there 200% worse than Verizon, who at LEAST realized their mistake and promised to correct it with LTE.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -3

    comment title

    But it shouldn't matter anyway, every other network on the planet, including the once crappy CDMA networks like Verizon, will now be going LTE and doing good, with their open SIMful technologies, and only one monopolistic pile of trash network will remain, Sprint. What this means is no one will make phones for them and they will go out of business very soon. I can't wait for that glorious day, which will finally put an end to cell phone monopoly lock downs.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    0

    So what happens when the real 4G is rolled out?

    Neither WiMax nor LTE are actually "4G" technologies. They're just faster versions of existing protocols. Like they say in auto racing, "You can't turn a pig into a thoroughbred, but you can still make a really fast pig."

    Real 4G will use some kind of all-IP all-packet-switched protocol exactly like the rest of the internet traffic of the world. I say "some kind" because the final 4G spec hasn't even been chosen yet. It will most likely be LTE Advanced, which will probably be just a firmware upgrade beyond the current "3.9G" LTE.

    So what will Sprint say when WiMax fizzles and LTE Advanced takes over as the "real 4G"? Will they call it "5G"? "4G++"? "Super 4G"?

    How about "Extra Super Duper Big Happy Fun 4G"?

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001

    +2

    Everyone was crying for VZW ...

    ... has never used VZW. They make at&t look downright altruistic. CDMA does have better coverage in parts of the USA. But if you ever plan on international travel and don't live in no-damn-where Alabama then you shouldn't be using a CDMA technology.

    Sprint went with Wi-Max .... which I can't even get decent coverage in parts of Metro Atlanta.

    As much as I dislike some things about at&t (dropped calls, etc.), I like more than I dislike (international coverage, GSM standards.)

  1. joesporleder

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    +10

    It is time to turn off the computer

    When people start posting messages hoping someone dies a painful death because they don't like the company they work for, it is time for that person to turn off the computer and go take their medication.

  1. sessamoid

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    With AT&T and VZW going to LTE

    will they begin a roaming agreement like the one VZW and Sprint have now? Clearly, in the future, the VZW/Sprint deal is doomed as they'll be using different technologies. You won't be able to use the same phone on both VZW and Sprint. An LTE phone will be usable on all of VZW, AT&T, and TMobile.

  1. sessamoid

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    With AT&T and VZW going to LTE

    will they begin a roaming agreement like the one VZW and Sprint have now? Clearly, in the future, the VZW/Sprint deal is doomed as they'll be using different technologies. You won't be able to use the same phone on both VZW and Sprint. An LTE phone will be usable on all of VZW, AT&T, and TMobile.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: What happens

    Being that's years away from happening, who cares? Should everyone just wait with what they have until some 'great new tech' actually comes around?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +4

    @Justin

    But it shouldn't matter anyway, every other network on the planet, including the once crappy CDMA networks like Verizon, will now be going LTE and doing good, with their open SIMful technologies, and only one monopolistic pile of trash network will remain,

    Because something takes a SIM card does not mean it is open. Take the iPhone, for example. Sure, it uses a SIM. But only because it HAS to. But that doesn't mean ATT and Apple don't do everything possible to keep people from using it on other networks in the US. Sure, you can 'unlock' it, but then you break your warranty.

    h***, if they wanted to, they could come out with a weird size SIM card that only will fit certain phones and then you'd be screwed!

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

SMS Audio Sync Sport on-ear headphones

When hitting the gym or going out for a trail run, headphones can cause a number of problems. From the ear buds getting slimy with swe ...

Adesso Xtream S3B Bluetooth speaker

Finding a speaker purpose-built for a specific need is challenging. Even when a Bluetooth speaker can be paired with a mobile device, ...

JBL Synchros E40BT headphones

For all the different configurations of headphones on the market, it's always a tough choice for buyers to get something that is just ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News