Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sprint Nextel gets stones ready for wireless Goliaths


When Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) announced a few months ago that it would be committing up to $4 billion in newer WiMAX technology to power a new fourth-generation (4G) wireless network, shivers must have gone up the spines of executives at AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T) and other large established telecom players.

After all, a national WiMAX network would let Sprint basically bypass the interconnections it needs from existing data lines and let it offer services such as home telephone service, video and television service and high-speed Internet service. Sprint's deal with choosing WiMAX also involved Intel (rather heavily), Motorola, Inc. (NYSE:MOT) and Samsung.

Sprint also just ended a rather large bidding process at the FCC's recent advanced wireless services auction, bidding over $2 billion with a consortium of national cable television companies like Cox Communications and Comcast.

That kind of sends a signal to me that Sprint is nowhere close to being beaten back by the just-about-to-be-completed merger of AT&T and Bellsouth. There is so much going on in the telecom world right now that the future is a jumbled mess of new technology, customer adoption and relatively unknown strategies in the new age of taking it all to the customer through wireless airwaves.

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