Is Sprint’s performance taking the zoom out of Xohm?

The departure of CEO Gary Forsee, combined with the poor performance of Sprint Nextel is putting the company’s WIMAX rollout in an increasingly precarious position.

The operator reported a 77 per cent drop in third quarter net income from $279m a year ago to $64m this year, while consolidated net operating revenues also fell to $10bn, compared to $10.5bn in the year ago third quarter. Also during the third quarter, the carrier noted capital investments of $73m related to the WiMAX initiative and wireless capital spending is expected to increase significantly in the fourth quarter.

Some aren’t goig to like that, especially rebel shareholder Ralph Whitworth. Is this the beginning of the end for the WiMAX poster child?

One comment

  1. Avatar Alan J Weissberger 02/11/2007 @ 5:03 pm

    Even if SPRINT precedes with WiMAX, roaming and coverage will be an issue, because only Clearwire has a roaming agreement with them. There are no other major US carriers that have announced WiMAX and none have licenses for 2.5GHz spectrum.

    In response to a MuniWireless.com article questioning whether WiMAX might supplant mesh WiFi in muni wireless networks, I posted the following comment on Oct 27, 2007:

    At ISPCON (attended by many WISPs) and at the Muni Wireless Conference in Santa Clara, CA, there was no talk of rolling out WiMAX for Internet access or Muni Wireless network access. Some service providers are planning to use WiMAX for backhaul and vendors such as Alvarion, Nortel and Cisco (with their Navini purchase) will probably make equipment for that use.

    At the MuniWireless Confernce, I asked the Motorola CTO if we might see a bifurcated market for WiMAX: Where it is used for wireless broadband access in developing countries that have no telecom infrastructure (assuming the hardware cost and powering come down), while it is restricted to wireless backhaul use in developing countries (e.g. U.S. and Europe). She danced around the question without providing a definitive answer or opinion.

    During the closing Muni Wireless key note session, Intel claimed that WiMAX would be available (along with WiFi) in notebook PCs, starting in 2009. But if no licenses are available in the U.S. (other then 2.5GHz held by SPRINT and Clearwire), then those WiMAX enabled laptops will have no WiMAX network to connect to!

    Reference: The MuniWireless article I was commenting on is entitled: “WiMAX bests cellular, but what about Wi-Fi?” 10/26/07 post by Carol Ellison

    Yours sincerely,

    alan Weissberger

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