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Sprint calls its WiMAX service Xohm

US carrier Sprint Nextel gave an update on its WiMAX plans on Thursday, revealing that the wireless broadband service will be marketed under the awkwardly named “Xohm” brand – pronounced “zoam”.

A soft launch of the WiMAX network is expected by the end of 2007 in the Chicago and Baltimore/Washington markets, with commercial services expected to be available in the first half of 2008.

Under its planned network sharing agreement with Clearwire, Sprint expects the network buildout to reach 100 million people by the end of 2008, with Sprint providing coverage to 70 million and Clearwire to 30 million people. Sprint’s coverage is expected to grow to approximately 125 million people by the end of 2010.

At that level of buildout, the potential market would include an estimated 48 million US households, nearly 5 million small office/home office subscribers, and more than 130 million consumer electronics devices, the company said.

Barry West, president of 4G Mobile Broadband and Sprint’s CTO, said that WiMAX ecosystem partners have committed to put 50 million WiMAX chipsets in devices.

The company expects to generate between $2bn and $2.5bn in revenues for the 2010 with more than 80 per cent generated from new lines of business like WiMAX. Sprint expects that its WiMAX initiative will be positive for operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) in 2010 and the company intends to invest approximately $2.5bn in capital for WiMAX through the end of 2008.

Sprint also gave an update on its joint venture FMC service, Pivot, which it is deploying in partnership with a handful of cable operators including Comcast.

Pivot is now available in 20 markets with plans to move into at least 40 by year end. Paul Saleh, Sprint’s CFO, said the company expects the service to generate new revenue streams through remote DVR programming and video-on-demand. He added that the company was seeing strong demand for its VoIP over cable services with second quarter cable VoIP revenues increasing 60 per cent annually.


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