Speak To Me of Speed: Sprint Greenlights Mobile WiMAX
Ever get annoyed by having to sign up and pay those $7 fees in airports or coffee shops for wireless internet access for your computer? Currently, the solution is a PC card that’ll let you surf anywhere you get cell phone coverage (with a carrier subscription, of course), but not always at acceptable speeds. Next year, Sprint will offer another choice, a much-heralded WiMAX network that will allow not only laptops but all sorts of mobile devices to have super-fast internet access anywhere in the WiMAX coverage footprint.
That footprint will span over Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. by the end of this year, with 12 additional markets coming on board in April of 2008. Sprint plans to spend literally billions of dollars ($3 billion at last count) making the hardware and system adjustments to its towers and infrastructure to enable the WiMAX service.
“Initial access devices will be PC’s and modems,” says Sprint spokesman John Polivka. “But in he WiMAX world, any number of other devices are possible: cameras, videocams, personal media players, internet tablets. All these allow wireless capability and can talk to each other. Imagine having a digital camera where you snap a photograph and send it to your TV or PC wirelessly anywhere in the footprint.”