Sprint to 'Soft Launch' WiMax Network

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Sprint will be "soft-launching" their new WiMax wireless network known as XOHM later this week, according to MacNN. The initial plans will make make WiMax networks available in downtown Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

    The official launch is reported to be in the 2nd quarter of 2008 when a number of WiMax enabled laptops are expected to be released. Sprint expects 100 million Americans to be within WiMax range by the end of 2008.

    WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a next generation wireless technology that promises inexpensive wireless broadband. A USAToday article discussing the new technology reveals that that the network will be "open" with no long term service contracts and customers will be allowed to use any WiMax device on the network. Critics of the service, however, believe that existing 3G cellular technologies, such as HSPA, already fill this need.

    Of particular interest is that Intel has been a strong proponent of the technology and will start building WiMax enabled chipsets for its upcoming Montevina platform which replaces Santa Rosa. This is no guarantee that Apple will necessarily use Intel's wireless chipset, as they are not using them in the current iteration of MacBooks.

    While Apple has made no public commitments to WiMax technology, the possible introduction of sub-notebook MacBook so close to WiMax's launch has surely raised these possibilities at Apple headquarters. This, however, all remains speculative, as no credible rumors have yet placed WiMax technology in Apple hardware.

    Article Link
  2. macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    Interesting I guess. Let the speculation begin.
  3. macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    yeah it is interesting. but i don't use Sprint, so i wonder if at&t has anything similar in the works?
  4. macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    Welcome to the Social?

    I am actually looking forward to this, AT&T is prohibiting progress like this.
  5. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    at&t is pushing 3g hspa instead.

  6. macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2003
    so cal

    so, the Page 1 rumor here is....what?...that there are not yet any rumors linking this chipset to Apple?
  8. macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Microwave internet; won't that liquify our brains? If so, MAN that'd be bad.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    No it is a rumor about possible speculation.

    Sorry, this is interesting news, but a stretch for a MacRumor.
  10. Guest

    Dec 30, 2002
    Sprint's EVDO already kicks ass, and I hope to one day be able to get a WiMax Treo from them within the next year or two(hopefully running a modern Linux based OS). I almost got WiMax from Clearwire when I moved back to Dayton, but the reports weren't that great.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2007
    New York, NY
    Mac Office going Gold and possible iTunes/Quicktime updates are page 2 rumors but a Sprint WiMax 'soft launch' is page 1?

    Um, I use Sprint, will be for the next two years, but I don't do the whole internet thing on my phone so I don't see this affecting me.
  12. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    That Quicktime is going from 7.3 to 7.4 is not a particularly compelling news item. Nor is Office going GM when its long been announced that it is coming at MWSF.

    WiMax changes a lot of things, and will be built into many laptops, just as Wifi is built into many laptops now. Verizon's version is their "open" CDMA network. Sprint Nextel is going to be WiMax.

    This is relevant to anyone with a laptop or mobile phone, Mac users included.

  13. macrumors 65832


    Jan 16, 2002
    Denver, CO
    "Yet" being the key word here.
    I give it a full day before some analyst comes out of the woodwork claiming a trusted source confirms Apple's ultra-portable, released at MWSF no doubt, will be WiMax ready. :p

    Whiiich... I guess would have to make the second key word here, "credible." ;)
  14. macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2007
    Yeah, this just might make zune wifi useful :)


    but seriously there's so many microwaves flying around out there, we won't even notice.

    Just to use my locale as an example, the CN Tower in Toronto is nothing more than a giant phallic microwave transceiver. I'm sure everybody else's town has their microwave tower equivalent, although ours is bigger (heh heh). Yeah, yeah, Dubai has a bigger one now, blah blah

    Microwaves are line-of-sight, so if you can SEE the CN tower, you can send or receive a microwave signal to/from it. Well, you could if you were a major network, or pulling in your HDTV via antenna.

    Anyhoo, slide some wimax up that bad boy, and anyone in sight of the thing gets a face full of hot internet. Can I get anymore disgusting? you bet.

    disclaimer: I'm largely ignorant on the topic and nature of microwaves, but I know enough to sound convincing.
  15. macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2006
    I'm currently under a 2 year contract with sprint. I hope wimax is available to me when i buy a wimax device, instead of cancelling my service then enrolling to wimax service.
  16. macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2006
    MA, USA
    If the new version of the iPhone is wimax ready, I maybe interested, but not counting on it, besides not living in the areas mentioned so will have to wait anyway.

    Outside of major cities, wifi is mainly non-existing and so far wimax will be available in just a few cities so it is EDGE for now, and maybe 3G come June.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    Hopefully Apple goes with HSPA/LTE in their notebooks. Especially considering they are doing this with the iPhone.

    Global coverage today.
    Proven higher speeds at cell edge.
    Amazing long range rural coverage capabilities.
    14.4Mbit today. (active throughout my whole country)
    40+Mbit 2008 (already being trialled in my state)
    100+Mbit downlink / 50Mbit uplink with LTE (2009)

    Seamless handing over between the whole LTE/HSPA+/HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS family of technologies.

    AT&T and Verizon are the carriers supporting this in the US.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Clive At Five

    May 26, 2004
    St. Paul, MN
    Hmm, this could put Apple in pickle of a situation...

    If Intel pushes WiMAX and at&t pushes 3G...

    While I think Apple is certainly better bed-buddies with Intel, at&t is Apple's whore.

    Maybe they'll split the difference and enable WiMAX for laptops and keep 3G for Phones.

    But no, the sub-notebook won't have WiMAX, especially since only people in Chicago, Baltimore, and D.C. can use it.

  19. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    You're assuming the subnotebook will be released the same time it is announced. (at MWSF)

    100 million potential customers by end of 2008. Also, that prototype intel laptop had Wifi, cellular and WiMax in one computer, so WiMax support doesn't preclude other forms of wireless connectivity.

  20. macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2007
  21. macrumors 68000


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    My brother-in-law has been busy with Srint setting this network up for the last couple of years or so. He said pretty much the system would make a lot of lined internet access obsolete because of the speeds they were testing with.

    I live in Miami so hopefully I can get at least some access to this in the near future. I would love to use my iPhone's WiFi everywhere I go.
  22. macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    It is a pilot program, you can't expect it to be nationwide overnight.
  23. macrumors 68030

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    This is good news indeed. High speed, long range, wireless access. A competitor to wireline companies. No more hotspot hunting. Open access, no contracts, no pick-a-vendor. The world is about to get a lot sweeter...

    Just don't cross the streams. You'll be fine.
    This really isn't about phones-- this is about wireless access with broad coverage.
    First rule of business-- never become beholden to a single supplier. You know Apple is chafing at the AT&T long term exclusive on iPhone. This gives them some leverage.
  24. macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    had to laugh when I read this- when I went to the CN tower I got in a huge argument with some crazy French guy about how the tower isn't a building its more of a structure and the Sears tower was taller.

    Annnnywhoooo this wifi can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Think about it- web based cell phone service, if the transmitter or whatever has a long range companies would only need a few to get lots of coverage so it would probably be cheaper and there would be more competition. I would love to tell ATT to F off and go with uncle Bob's discount wifi phone.
  25. macrumors 68030

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Can you link to something that backs this up? Unless they've moved the CN tower to Luxembourg I don't think there's anywhere in the world that has the theoretical maximum HSPA rate across the whole country. Higher speeds at cell edge is only interesting if we know the cell size... HSPA is a GSM technology so the cells are rather small compared to WiMAX. LTE is still being argued in committee.

    Granted all my information is from US centric sources-- I'd be interested in anything you can send our way.

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