Sprint Delays Xohm To 'Later This Year' - InformationWeek

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Commentary
4/3/2008
05:47 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Sprint Delays Xohm To 'Later This Year'

Sprint just doesn't need bad news like this right now. As part of its CTIA participation, a company spokesperson said that it has delayed the launch of its WiMax network from this month to "later." What does this imply?

Sprint just doesn't need bad news like this right now. As part of its CTIA participation, a company spokesperson said that it has delayed the launch of its WiMax network from this month to "later." What does this imply?To be honest, I really expected big WiMax news from Sprint at the CTIA Wireless show here this week in Las Vegas. While Sprint admitted that it is moving forward with its Xohm network, I was looking for a formal launch to kick things off. It didn't happen.

Instead, company spokesperson James Fischer said that the launch has been pushed to later this year, but wasn't any more specific than that. He did say that the reasons weren't technology related, but, "We want to make sure the launch meets our expectations."

So far it hasn't met anyone's expectations.

It was originally set to launch in late 2007. The trial markets did get off the ground in December in a very limited way. Sprint then targeted April as the launch date. And given the pre-show chatter I was hearing, it appeared that Sprint was all set to kick WiMax into high hear. In fact, Sprint technology partner Nokia launched a WiMax-equipped version of its Internet tablet this week. Nokia even made it the splashiest press conference at the show, hoisting journalists over 100 feet into the air.

But nothing from Sprint.

We all know about its on-again, off-again relationship with Clearwire. Sprint is likely still trying to forge partnerships with Intel and cable firms to aid in paying for the deployment. If it is waiting to solidify those financial commitments from others before moving forward, I have to wonder what that really says about Sprint's capability to deploy WiMax at all.

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