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Thu, Aug 10, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Sprint Nextel plans US 4G network


Communications company Sprint Nextel said on Tuesday that it was investing up to US$3 billion in what it claimed would be the US' first nationwide 4G high-speed wireless broadband network.

Sprint said the network would rely on WiMAX technology and offer coverage to 100 million people by 2008. It said in a statement that it was teaming up with Intel, Motorola and South Korea's Samsung to develop the network.

Sprint said it would work with the other companies to also develop "mobile WiMAX-enabled chipsets that will support advanced wireless broadband services for computing, portable multimedia, interactive and other consumer electronic devices."

The communications player said the 4G, or fourth-generation, wireless network would offer consumers faster connection speeds at lower costs.

"We'll give customers the power to harness business information and personal entertainment easily and inexpensively ... and in ways that they will one day wonder how they lived without," said Sprint Nextel's chief executive officer Gary Forsee.

Ki Tae-lee, president of South Korea's Samsung Electronics' Telecommunication Network Business, said: "I believe Sprint Nextel's decision to deploy Mobile WiMAX [Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access] as the 4G network technology will set a milestone in the US telecommunication industry's history."

Sprint said it hopes to launch a partial rollout of the network in certain trial markets by late next year. It said it would invest US$1 billion to set up the network next year and between US$1.5 and US$2 billion in 2008.

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