Last fall, Sprint announced plans to create the first fourth generation (4G) nationwide cellular wireless network . This will use the mobile WiMAX standard.
Exactly what data transfer speed users can expect from this upcoming service has not yet been revealed, but it will certainly be noticeably faster than Sprint’s current EV-DO network in most situations.
In fact, the mobile WiMAX service is expected to be so fast that many think Sprint is going to market it to consumers as an alternative to a cable modem or DSL for their home, even for computers that don’t ever move.
Sprint doesn’t plan to introduce its mobile WiMAX service until the end of this year, but this carrier said this week what it is likely to charge per month: $55 for unlimited data transfers.
This carrier will need to sign up a great many subscribers to pay for the $3 billion it is putting into this initiative.
More About WiMAX
WiMAX is an acronym for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and its more technical name is IEEE 802.16e.
It should not be confused with regular WiMAX (802.16a), as that works only between fixed points. The mobile version, on the other hand, can be installed in laptops, PC Cards, and smartphones.
Adama D. Brown contributed to this article