Sprint announced today that they would invest up to $3 billion to setup WiMax highspeed internet access to 100 million customers by the end of 2008. Sprint is choosing Motorola, Intel, and Samsung to supply this equipment despite its cellular agreement with Qualcomm, which provides the network equipment to provide fast access through cellular infrastructure (3G). Sprint is billing the WiMax technology as 4G and is hoping to catch up according to MarketWatch by outflanking Verizon Wireless and Cingular.
WiMax could not only allow customers to access their cellular calls, but internet, wireless handheld VOIP phones and many other products converging together with WiFi cards (which would need a WiMax card upgrade).
Their vision would be one where a user did not need a cable wire to their house to run a modem and wireless router, instead all devices would log into the greater wireless WiMax network. Downside might be in how much consumers have to pay for individual hardware access. A router today offers consumers somewhat of a non-itemized ride for their extra computers, handhelds, cameras, TiVo’s and refrigerators that run off the wireless network in the house.