Sprint Q4 2008 Results
Sprint on Thursday reported continued losses in income and customers in its results for the last quarter of 2008. The cell carrier says it shifted to a $257 million loss from a $325 million profit the year before and has dropped below 50 million cellphone subscribers for the first time in years, falling from 53.8 million users in December 2007 to 49.3 million by the end of the past year. This was also down 1.3 million users from the summer.
Sprint CDMA, WiMAX phones
Wireless provider Sprint Nextel will offer handsets that can switch from the existing CDMA network to the WiMAX mobile broadband network currently being built up across the United States by Sprint's recent partner, Clearwire. Apart from the handsets, Sprint will carry other WiMAX products and services, including the first hybrid CDMA/mobile WiMAX modem. All will be branded as Sprint 4G, replacing the existing Xohm brand name for the existing high-speed mobile broadband gear.
Clearwire WiMAX as Clear
Clearwire today said its recently completed deal with Sprint for WiMAX will use the "Clear" name on its own side of the network rather than use Sprint's Xohm naming scheme. Worth about $14.5 billion, the agreement will effectively replace Xohm on Clearwire's portion of the network rather than see the two provide a united naming scheme.
Clearwire Sprint deal a go
A merger between telecommunications companies Sprint and Clearwire announced back in May could be completed before year's end, as Clearwire's shareholders have approved the deal today, according to a Thursday report. Earlier this month, the FCC approved the merger as well, bringing the $14.6 billion venture one step closer to completion. The new company, also called Clearwire, will work on developing a mobile network based on WiMAX technology that promises wireless data transfer rates faster than any current network, approaching wired broadband speeds.
HTC MAX 4G
HTC on Wednesday rounded out the last of its major touchscreen phone introductions with its highest-performing device yet. The MAX 4G is the production version of the T8290 and shares the 3.8-inch, 800x480 screen of the Touch HD but adds a WiMAX connection for 4G-level Internet access in the multi-megabit range. A GSM connection is still built in to make conventional phone calls.
Sprint Clearwire Approved
The FCC late yesterday approved Sprint's deal with Clearwire for a national WiMAX network. The deal will allow the two to spread an effectively unified 4G wireless Internet service across the US that should cover as many as 140 million users by the end of 2010. FCC Commissioners, including Chairman Kevin Martin, describe the approval in historic terms and suggest it will create a genuine new competitor for high-speed Internet access in the US.
Hybrid LTE and WiMAX Chips
Next year will bring devices that have two competing 4G data formats at once, a note from ABI Research. Company principal analyst Philip Solis explains that multiple carriers have expressed interest in supporting both Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX on the same chipset, letting them support either standard depending on the provider and region. The move would let carriers such as KDDI and Vodafone serve both their own services, which will prefer LTE, without the cost of building a second device for a WiMAX network in another country or a related provider.
AT&T/Lenovo 3G notebooks
Carrier AT&T and PC builder Lenovo say they have collaborated on a project meant to drive down the cost of 3G broadband on notebooks. Buyers of Lenovo notebooks in the ThinkPad T, X and SL series will get a free 30 days of AT&T's DataConnect service, if they sign up for a two-year contract; more critically, models with the necessary Ericsson module will not cost any more than a regular version, which the companies claim will save as much as $150 per computer. The arrangement is being targeted mainly at small- to medium-sized businesses.
Nokia N810 WiMAX Ships
Nokia in a low-key move has started shipping the N810 WiMAX Edition in the US, giving Sprint's new Xohm network its first handheld device. Following a long delay from its April launch, the tablet is Nokia's first with long-range wireless and should have broadband-level Internet speeds anywhere in Baltimore and future cities that will get Xohm. Sprint estimates 2Mbps to 4Mbps downstream, which should allow full video streaming, VoIP, and other services sometimes too demanding for 3G.
iPods and Mac WiMAX Rumor
Apple is giving both its iPods and MacBooks wide-area wireless in South Korea, a statement reads. The American company has signed a memorandum of understanding with major telecoms provider KT Corp to bundle KT's WiBro (WiMAX in Korea) mobile broadband service with Apple's portable music players and notebooks. Neither firm is specific on details, though the iPod touch and similar devices would require built-in hardware to support the feature where MacBooks could use USB or ExpressCard adapters depending on the model.
HTC T8290 Leaked
HTC could be developing an even more advanced cellphone than its upcoming Touch HD, according to an alleged leak. So far codenamed only the T8290, the handset would have the same 3.8-inch touchscreen, Windows Mobile 6.1, and TouchFLO interface as the Touch HD but add in a WiMAX connection that would give it 4G speeds on the few networks that currently support the standard. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are also present, as is a back camera at an unknown resolution.
ASUS WiMAX Notebooks
Joining with Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba, ASUS on Wednesday became the latest to unveil its first notebooks specifically capable of using Sprint's new Xohm service. The 14.1-inch F8Va-C2WM is billed as the true mobile WiMAX system of the collection but carries a comparatively high-end 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive that amount to a $1,599 price point.
Lenovo WiMAX ThinkPads
Lenovo says it has added an option for Intel's long-range wireless technology, WiMAX, to several of its ThinkPad notebooks. The computers are specifically intended to coincide with Sprint's new Xohm WiMAX service, and include variants of the X301, T400, Sl300 and SL500. The option will become available on the W500, W700, SL400 and X200 later this year, and plans are in the works for the IdeaPad Y530.
Acer intros WiMAX laptops
Acer on Wednesday announced the launch of its first notebooks that support Sprint's 4G Xohm WiMAX network, which officially debuted just over a week ago in Baltimore. The Acer Aspire 4930-6862 and Aspire 6930-6771 are identical in pricing and specs, with the exception of the latter’s 1366x768 16-inch LCD over the former’s 1280x800 14.1-inch display. The pair will use Intel’s combined WiMAX/Wi-Fi module, which is part of the Intel WiMAX/Wi-Fi Link 5050 Series. Either new notebook will also use the same 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 3GB of RAM, with graphics processing handled by the onboard Intel GMA 4500MHD.
Toshiba U405 for WiMAX
Toshiba helped kick off a special event for Sprint's Xohm service by launching its first official WiMAX-equipped notebook. The 13.3-inch Satellite U405 now has one of the 4G adapters built-in and so can pull roughly 2Mbps to 4Mbps most anywhere in Baltimore and other cities soon to get the 4G-level wireless access. Toshiba's implementation also uses Intel's "Echo Peak" adapter to include Wi-Fi without adding to the system's bulk.
ATT Says 3G Lasts 2-3 Yrs
Those expecting AT&T to make a quick transition to 4G are likely to be disappointed, AT&T's Architecture VP Hank Kafka said yesterday at the 4G Executive Summit. The executive says there is no immediate urge to transition to the Long Term Evolution standard, as the company's current HSPA and upcoming 20Mbps HSPA+ 3G networks should provide good coverage for the next two to three years by building on top of an existing legacy network rather than reworking service from the ground up.
Xohm Data Throttling
Users of Sprint's just-launched Xohm service are likely to face certain services being throttled from the outset, according to the WiMAX network's Acceptable Use Policy page. The carrier claims the right to use "various tools and techniques" to limit the speed available to any particularly data-heavy apps or entire protocol types, including file sharing suites. The restriction would be put in place to create a consistent experience for the user base, Sprint argues.
Sprint Xohm Goes Live
Sprint today marked the official debut of Xohm, the first WiMAX service available from a major provider in the US and the first 4G-level service from a cellular carrier. The 2.5GHz service, launching first in Baltimore, is likened to a traditional Internet provider and provides roughly DSL-quality broadband wherever the network is available: Sprint estimates real-world downloads of between 2Mbps and 4Mbps depending on distance and signal strength. The speed allows full-quality streaming video and other services that are largely impractical over 3G.
Sprint WiMAX Live Oct 8
Sprint's Xohm WiMAX network will have its formal debut on October 8th, according to an invitation sent to the media. Company executives along with those from WiMAX developer Intel will host an event that day in Baltimore's Bond Street Wharf Park to unveil the service, which is planned as one of the first truly national 4G wireless Internet services for the US. Follow-ups expansions are also known to be in effect for nearby Washington, DC as well as Chicago in the near term and will spread next to Dallas and New England cities in the weeks following the rollout.
LTE in-car tests a success
Wireless network provider T-Mobile and Nortel Networks on Thursday announced the successful test of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed wireless data network in a moving car, according to a new update. Tested on a highway in Bonn, Germany in a vehicle moving at an average speed of 42mph, the upcoming LTE network achieved 170Mbps download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds. Throughout the trip, the car was in range of three cell sites.
Sprint Xohm Still for Sept
Sprint's Xohm WiMAX is still on schedule to switch on in September, the company tells Gearlog. While less than two weeks remain in the month, the carrier says its already-delayed 4G Internet service is still on track despite the absence of announcements or other signs the network is ready to go live. Sprint previously said in June that it would first deploy Xohm in Baltimore, Chicago and Washington, DC this month with expansion to other cities shortly afterwards.
Sprint Slips Xohm Details
Sprint has already slipped details of what its WiMAX-based Xohm wireless service will feature when it launches later this month, a set of hidden pages show. The company'S device list and FAQs show the firm will have just the N810 WiMAX Edition as its stand-alone device and will primarily rely on PC adapters, including a ZyXEL router as well as a Samsung ExpressCard modem and a ZTE USB modem. Notebooks with WiMAX built-in will also support the service and are known to include an ASUS Eee PC variant and new Toshiba notebooks.
Lenovo ThinkPad X301
Lenovo on Monday will launch an update to its ThinkPad X300 series that shows the PC maker's second response to the MacBook Air. The X301 expands on the earlier model by using Centrino 2-era ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processors to ramp up speed while also extending the battery life over the earlier system, which used a lower-clocked version of the same custom processor used in Apple's system. Clock speeds are unmentioned but in prior leaks will involve both 1.6GHz and 1.83GHz processors; regardless of speed, the system should perform about 20 percent faster than the original X300, Lenovo claims.
Xohm Second Wave Expansion
Sprint's next wave of cities to receive its Xohm WiMAX service after Baltimore will focus primarily on Texas and the northeast, the carrier is telling interested customers. In addition to extra launches planned for Chicago and Washington DC, the 4G service should be available in Boston, Philadelphia, and Providence in the New England area as well as its first southern effort in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Xohm Live in September
Sprint's long-delayed full rollout of its Xohm WiMAX Internet service should start in September, company chief technical officer Barry West said Wednesday at the WiMAX Forum's Global Congress event. The executive now claims that the 4G-class wireless network will start its normal, paid business in September with a first run in Baltimore; Chicago and Washington DC, which have also participated in early trials, will see their networks opened to the public sometime in the fall. Other cities should come soon after, West says.
Verizon on iPhone 3G Plan
Apple's decision to allow subsidized prices for the iPhone 3G is an admission that it needs to follow the traditional cellphone provider model, Verizon's chief operating officer Denny Strigl claimed at the second day of the Deutsche Bank Conference. The executive downplays the impact of the new cellphone on his own company and contends that Apple and AT&T are simply learning to accept a conventional practice that discounts the phone's up-front price rather than insist on splitting monthly phone revenues.
VIA this morning set out its version of the future for micro notebooks with the OpenBook. The 8.9-inch portable is the sequel to last year's NanoBook and earns its name through its uniquely open-source chassis. Unlike most stock designs, the blueprints for the outer panels are put under a liberal Share Alike version of the Creative Commons license: this lets third-party PC makers freely remake the outside of the notebook without the trouble of negotiating for a license. The shift will give many companies a unique PC of their own that gets to market for less money and more quickly than rivals, VIA hopes.
Sprint XOHM in late 2008
Sprint and Samsung on Thursday announced that the two companies are set to take advantage of the former company's recently finalized WiMax network in Baltimore and Washington later this year. Samsung's Express Card E100 and Q1 Ultra Premium Mobile PC have both been used to test the network heavily, and are expected to launch with Sprint's XOHM service. The announcement follows the company's April 2008 tests of interoperability of different vendors' devices.
Alltel to Use LTE for 4G
Alltel will use Long Term Evolution (LTE) for its next-generation phone network, according to statements made during a conference call discussing the provider's latest financial results. Company chief Scott Ford explained that the technology is Alltel's pick and that LTE will have a "significant" installed base for the company's cellular network within the next three to five years. Ford doesn't say when Alltel will start its rollout, but notes that there is no short-term budget and that nothing will be underway until at least 2009.
ATT 20Mbps 3G in 2009
AT&T's cellular Internet access will be more than five times faster in 2009 than it is this year, the company's mobility chief Ralph de la Vega said today at Morgan Stanley's annual Communications Conference. The executive says that the company's HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) network will be improved from the theoretical peak downloads of 3.6 megabits per second common across most of the network today to about 20 megabits per second in 2009.
Sprint Q1 2008 Results
Sprint this morning reported its results for the first quarter of 2008 and has revealed continued severe losses in its cellular business. The carrier says its net revenue declined nine percent year-over-year to $9.3 billion and that it lost a total 1.09 million wireless customers in the most recent period. The company says the poor results were "expected" but that it's continuing to rework its strategy, including more focused advertising, cost reductions, and larger strategic decisions. Its news last week of a team-up with Clearwire for nationwide WiMAX also points to a turnaround, according to the company.
Sprint and Clearwire today announced the unification of their two WiMAX Internet services into a single company that they hope will drive the 4G wireless standard. Simply titled Clearwire, the business will share the services of both the old Clearwire and Sprint's Xohm network in a single national WiMAX provider and is said to help promote the concept of an open wireless standard that allows any device and software to run; the combined build-out of the two should cover between 120 and 140 million Americans by the end of 2010, the involved companies say.
Cox 700MHz Network
Wins by Cox Communications during the recent 700MHz auction will let the company set up its own wireless data network, Cable Digital News says. The cable provider successfully obtained licenses in the frequency range that essentially overlap its existing markets, allowing it to switch on a wide-area broadband service that can handle all of its customers. The service is most likely to be based on 700MHz WiMAX and operate on platform-agnostic level that doesn't require locked devices.
Comcast Plans Wireless
Cable provider Comcast is devoting significant resources to developing a wireless service of its own, information sent to GigaOM says. The company currently offers a rebranded Sprint service in select areas but is now said to be readying a dedicated division with at least one cellular veteran at the helm: Dave Williams has already jumped to Comcast as its new Chief Technology Officer from Telefonica in Europe and already has experience with Cingular (now AT&T) and the former SBC.
Acer Aspire 5920 w WiMAX
Acer started its week today by announcing a special version of its Aspire 5920 notebook for Intel's WiMAX technology. The modified 15.4-inch system will let the computer connect at broadband speeds within a few miles of an access point rather than the 300 feet or less of the best Wi-Fi hotspots. Other changes are unavailable, though the current model runs on a 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo and includes a 320GB hard disk, a Blu-ray drive, and GeForce 8600M GS video.
ASUS Eee PC 900 US Launch
ASUS today broke out of its normal schedule to firm up the US launch schedule for the Eee PC 900. The 8.9-inch update to the design will ship on May 12th and will come in the same trim levels as its international counterparts. Every updated Eee will come with 1GB of memory, an unspecified Intel processor (initially believed to be the Celeron M), and a 1.3-megapixel camera. The company will ship both a Windows XP version with 12GB of storage and a version using the original Linux OS with 20GB of storage. Variants should also be available in black or white.
ASUS Eee PC 900 Official
ASUS has officially released the Eee PC 900, the larger, 8.9-inch version of its popular micro notebook. The larger-screened system not only ups the screen resolution from 800x480 to 1024x600 but represents ASUS' fastest and most feature-laden version. Onboard memory is doubled to 1GB of RAM, while storage is also significantly increased: while all editions ship with 4GB of flash storage soldered inside the system, a Windows XP model adds 8GB more (for a total of 12GB) while a Linux version uses its less expensive OS to allow for 16GB more, or 20GB. A sharper 1.3-megapixel webcam is also part of the 900 series.
Sprint Xohm Pushed Back
Sprint's Xohm WiMAX service has been delayed from its original spring release date, the company said at the CTIA mobile expo. Originally penned in for April, the release is now slated to occur later in the year and is currently expected by other sources to appear in the summer. The company hasn't provided an official explanation but says the issue isn't technological, instead claiming that the delay is in place to ensure a smooth rollout.
CloudBook Max with WiMAX
Everex today unveiled the CloudBook Max, an update to its ultraportable that adds, among other things, WiMAX compatibility for Sprint's XOHMwireless network. The new CloudBook Max features a 8.9-inch screen, displaying at a resolution of 1024 by 600, and is powered by a VIA C7-M ULV processor at 1.6GHz. A VIA VX800 IGP chipset provides video playback and acceleration. Everex estimates it will release the CloudBook Max in a year.
Sprint CEO on WiMAX
The CEO of Sprint has remained mute on the subject of a merged WiMAX network, despite expectations, Reuters notes. Some media outlets had speculated that Dan Hesse would use this week's CTIA Wireless conference to announce a completed deal with Clearwire, but no mention of this was made during a keynote speech. A few outlets had also proposed that Hesse would reveal funding deals with the likes of Intel, Google, Comcast and Time Warner.
Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition
Nokia today formally unveiled the first-ever device set to work with Sprint's upcoming Xohm WiMAX network. The N810 WiMAX Edition switches to a black design both to match newer phones like the N96 but also to signal the addition of 4G Internet access to the device. Where the original N810 was limited to Wi-Fi, the new version can connect from anywhere Sprint (or other WiMAX providers) offers its coverage; on the American network, users can realistically expect between 2Mbps and 4Mbps downstream and up to 10Mbps in ideal conditions, even when 3 miles away from a tower.
'Official' Nokia N810 leak
Information has for a third time leaked on a WiMAX-equipped version of the Nokia N810, circulating accounts say. Following a Best Buy ad and anonymous tips, a subsite produced by Nokia (link no longer active) has briefly appeared online, prominently featuring the device as a part of its OS2008 lineup. The standard N810 is an Internet tablet that was released in November of last year.
Comcast Google Fund Xohm
Multiple cable providers as well as other key technology companies are helping fund Sprint's still young WiMAX-based Xohm network, according to tips provided to the Wall Street Journal. Those allegedly aware of the situation explain that the 4G, wide-area wireless network is slated to receive as much as $1 billion from cable giant Comcast to help expand the Sprint service beyond its three-city trial; opposing cable providers Time Warner and Bright House are also believed to have pledged support of up to $500 million and $200 million.
Sprint Unified Network
Sprint intends to be one of the first carriers in the US to offer a truly unified cellular network based on the same structure as the Internet, the company's core technology VP Ben Vos said at a conference today. The provider hopes to break from the conventional use of old and new technologies at different stages of the network and will use an IP (Internet Protocol) network for its entire backbone as well as its multimedia systems. The switch will let all of Sprint's devices share a common platform and let them talk to each other the same way: programmers could write a program that works properly on Sprint's upcoming Xohm WiMAX network that behaves the same way on its CDMA or iDEN phone networks, Vos said.
Nokia N810 WiMAX Soon
Nokia's promised WiMAX tablet could arrive as early as next month, says a tip sent to BGR. While uncorroborated, the information suggests the device will be a variant of the previously Wi-Fi only N810 rather than a significant remake; the wide-area, high-speed Internet access will be its primary hardware update. The change will nonetheless make more use of the existing hardware, such as its camera for video calls and its microphone for VoIP.
ASUS Eee PC 900 US Info
ASUS' just-announced Eee PC 900 has received its official release information for the US as well as a guide to its near future, an interview with company chief Jerry Shen. The system will cost less than its originally announced European price when it ships to the US and should be available for $499 in the US when available in the country, which is expected by April. Shen does not say which configuration will ship at that price, though the cost of a Windows XP license points to the starter version shipping with Linux.
Samsung W100K 4G Player
Samsung this morning upped the stakes in portable media players and released the SWT-W100K. The 4.3-inch touchscreen device is built to replace not just most handhelds but also some PCs, courtesy of its fourth-generation Internet access. The W100K is one of the few devices to support WiBro (known as WiMAX in the West) on the go and pulls data more quickly than some landline connections: it can download up to 13Mbps and has enough upload speed for high-quality video calls with a built-in front camera. A back 2-megapixel camera with autofocus takes on video capture.
Sprint dual-mode WiMAX
Sprint and Clearwire are still discussing their potential WiMAX network collaboration, according to Sprint's new CEO. Dan Hesse addressed the topic in the company's most recent earnings call, but would not elaborate on proposals from either side of the negotations. “We have had wide ranging discussions with Clearwire on potential relationships," explained Hesse, "but no final agreements have been reached."
WiMAX routers for Xohm
A new batch of routers is enroute for Sprint's WiMAX network, reports say. The routers were designed exclusively for Sprint's Xohm service by ZyXEL, and are now said to be shipping out of the latter's home country of Taiwan. The initial number of routers will be limited, say sources for DigiTimes, as Xohm is still very much in a trial period. It is currently available in Baltimore, Chicago and Washington, with broader release only being scheduled for April.
Nokia N830 WiMAX Leak
Nokia may finally tip its hand as to its first WiMAX-enabled tablet, according to a sighting in a Best Buy ad by members of the Internet Tablet Talk community. Superficially a variant on the existing N810 Internet tablet, the device (labeled at once the N810 and N830) uses the black and metal trim style seen on phones such as the N96. While additional information is scarce, the finish and model number are unique among the N800 series and may point to the promised WiMAX tablet for the launch of Sprint's Xohm service.