Sprint details WiMAX, PTT and femtocell plans
Sprint gave what analysts called a surprisingly frank discussion of its upcoming service offerings that included more details about its WiMAX launch, the Qchat PTT service over EV-DO and its plans for femtocell technology.
WiMAX services, to be branded Xohm, are expected to generate $2.5 billion in revenue by 2010. Chicago and Baltimore/Washington markets will be the first to have service by the end of 2007 via a soft launch. Xohm commercial services are expected to be available beginning in the first half of 2008. Sprint expects 80 percent of the revenues will be incremental since the network will enable the company to attract new segments of users outside of the EV-DO realm. Capital expenditures are expected to reach $2.5 billion by year-end 2008, which is 20 percent lower than what Sprint originally estimated because of its deal with Clearwire. By 2010 Xohm will cover 125 million people and could connect up to 130 million consumer electronic devices. This estimate doesn't include the Clearwire coverage area.
Sprint's push-to-talk service will launch on the company's CDMA EV-DO Rev. A network in early 2008. The service is being rebranded Nextel Direct Connect, reflecting that Sprint made a bad choice when it originally branded both the CDMA and Nextel PTT Direct Connect. The Nextel Direct Connect brand was always a very powerful brand. Sprint said it has commitments from all of its handset suppliers to build QChat-enabled phones for its planned launch next year.
The technology Sprint hasn't said much about may actually be launched soon. Sprint has been working with Samsung to build CDMA femtocells that can support three simultaneous phone calls over a home broadband network. While the femtocell modem is ready, Sprint is still conducting trials.
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