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Sprint Corporation Message Board

  • yingand_yang yingand_yang Jun 20, 2007 8:48 AM Flag

    S Won't Abandon WiMax

    Sprint Won't Abandon WiMax, Executive Reveals
    The VP for global broadband strategy at Sprint Nextel confirms
    reports of a possible joint venture or spin-off of its WiMax unit.

    By Richard Martin
    InformationWeek
    Jun 19, 2007 12:00 PM

    Saying "we are not getting out of the business of WiMax by any
    means," Don Stroberg, VP for global broadband strategy at Sprint
    Nextel, confirmed reports that the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier is
    looking into a possible joint venture or spin-off of its WiMax unit.
    At an investor conference last week, Gary Forsee acknowledged that
    Sprint was exploring various options for the unit, and a report last
    week in the Wall Street Journal quoted anonymous sources as saying
    that those options include a possible joint venture of some kind with
    Clearwire Corp., which, like Sprint, is planning a nationwide
    broadband wireless network using WiMax technology. Saying
    that "having a coordinated, cohesive use of the 2.5 spectrum makes a
    lot of sense from our perspective and from theirs," Stroberg does not
    rule out a possible alliance with Clearwire at some point.

    "At a minimum, because we have markets that bump up against each
    other, it would make sense to cooperate on how to utilize spectrum,
    how to coordinate on cell-site builds, on benchmarking, and so on,"
    adds Stroberg. "You don't have to imagine too far to see how those
    things could work into other types of cooperation. "

    Since announcing its plans for a WiMax network last fall, Sprint has
    seen its core business in cellular voice deteriorate, losing
    subscribers to its two major rivals, AT&T (formerly Cingular
    Wireless) and Verizon Wireless, while experiencing a high rate of
    customer churn. At the same time, Sprint has been successful in
    lining up subscribers for another wireless broadband service, based
    on EV-DO technology. The carrier said today its EV-DO service
    now "reaches" (i.e., covers an area with a population of) 203
    million.

    Sprint's wireless data revenue hit $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter
    of 2006, not far behind Verizon and AT&T, according to wireless
    industry analyst Chetan Sharma. Sprint's average revenue per user for
    wireless data, at just under $9, leads the industry.

    Wall Street has responded. Since August, Sprint's share price has
    risen by 40%. Still, there are questions about whether Sprint can
    afford to build an expensive, essentially untried WiMax network
    alone.

 
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