The Sprint and Clearwire merger announcement brings news that the new company will be heavily invested in WiMAX technology. This sounds like bringing a gun to the already existing wireless knife fight.
After the Sprint and Clearwire merger is completed later this year, the new company will be named Clearwire. They’ve got some big-time backers for this deal as well. Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks will be investing over $3.2 billion to make this baby happen.
Verizon and AT&T better watch their backs because things just got serious. Sprint was always the disappointing little wireless carrier. Even in those lame Alltel ads, Sprint was the fat dumb guy. And what came from that big talked about merger with Nextel, a NASCAR cup series sponsorship?
But the hope for the advent of WiMAX looks to be changing all that. Surprisingly, WiMAX stands for ‘Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access’, but has nothing to do with kitchen based microwaves apparently. (They’re missing out on a golden opportunity with Hot Pocket cell phones, though).
This new technology is said to be lightyears faster than what AT&T and Verizon are using. According to the MarketWatch report:
it’s a wireless broadband technology designed to operate multiple times faster than today’s 3G wireless networks. With embedded WiMAX chipsets in laptops, phones, PDAs, mobile Internet devices and consumer electronic equipment, mobile WiMAX technology is expected to allow users to wirelessly access a range of multimedia applications anywhere in the network coverage area.
This deal has a long way to go before benefiting the customers, but it’s something I’m definitely looking forward to. Even if Sprint doesn’t ‘take over the wireless’ market like many people are claiming it will, they will cause AT&T and Verizon to step up their game.
Better service, lower prices, faster networks, it’ll be a fantasy land. And you can’t complain about the investment potential if a crappy company makes a big move and it pays off.
Are you excited about some new life in the wireless industry? Let us know in the comments section if you think this deal will have any impact.
CNBC: Sprint, Clearwire to form $14.5 Billion WiMax venture, May 7, 2008
MarketWatch: Sprint and Clearwire Combine WiMax Businesses, May 7, 2008