Whether you love them or hate them,  you have to be happy to see Sprint working on their 4G network.  Today they announced that the Clear WiMax network is scheduled for expansion into “many” additional markets (their words not mine).  This expansion will make 4G mobile broadband capability available to approximately 120 million people in the US by the end of 2010.  Here's a breakdown of where Sprint's 4G is currently in operation, and where they have announced expansion:

 The cities they have announced for 4G rollout this year so far are:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Washington, DC
  • Boston, MA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Kansas City, MO
  • New York, NY
  • Houston, TX

On a more personal note, I’ve had occasion to use Sprint’s 4G pretty extensively in Baltimore Maryland with both an Aircard and the new Overdrive mobile hotspot.  It’s fast.  Not just cellphone fast, but WiFi fast.  In lab tests the hypothetical top speed is 40 Mb/sec, and I have seen it as fast as the advertised 10 Mb/sec in the real-world.  Average speeds on the go are pretty darn good as well.  A trip around Baltimore will average about 4.5-5 Mb/sec.  That’s more than enough speed for mobile computing.  I can only hope that if and when this technology finally makes it’s debut on a cellphone, it’s speed and reliability is comparable. 

Combined with the rumor mill cranking out info about the HTC SuperSonic, this might be a big hint that 4G phones are just around the corner.  [Sprint]


Reader comments

Sprint announces upcoming WiMax locations


Sadly, no Florida locations still. Its OK though, without a phone on the market to support it, and the fact that I will not buy a 4G modem, there is still time to crank out South Florida.

Where the hell have you been? It's one of a couple of 4th generation (4G) wireless standards that has been in development for probably a decade or more. It's like the jump from old 1xRTT or EDGE connections to EVDO or 3G. I use Wimax in Baltimore and I usually get around 7mbps download compared to around 800kbps on my 3G EVDO phone.

That's not their complete list for 2010, just what is far enough down the line to announce. Rollouts will typically only be announced 3-6 months before that way there's no way for competitors (i.e. Verizon) to outmaneuver the launch.

@hotkoko and @Rufflez WiMAX, meaning Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless transmission of data using a variety of transmission modes, from point-to-multipoint links to portable and fully mobile internet access. The technology provides up to 10 Mbps [1] broadband speed without the need for cables. The technology is based on the IEEE 802.16 standard (also called Broadband Wireless Access). The name "WiMAX" was created by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote conformity and interoperability of the standard. The forum describes WiMAX[2] as "a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL".[3]

Wimax is 4G

The article said, "Here's a breakdown of where Sprint's 4G is currently in operation, and where they have announced expansion" but you didn't tell their "current in operation". You can find it here - http://www.clear.com/coverage They cover lots of folks.

The map isnt all that accurate either. My area doesn't show but it was one of the first Xohm coverage areas. Type in your address for a better picture.

Wifi (think home/office wireless networks) and WiMax (not much if any currently deployed today) are similar in several regards, and *could* compete with each other, but here are the primary differences TODAY:

Wifi is TODAY, a low-power, unlicensed spectrum (that can have interference with blue-tooth, cordless phones, leaky microwaves - [I run all this today, well, hopefully not the leaky microwave oven part, with no problems, as do many others]), uncontrolled/collision protocol (*May* not scale as well with many users on the same antenna/in the same area) for both attaching and using bandwidth. With more power, under the currently deployed standards, to get more distance, the interference between close-proximity wifi antennas would increase significantly (and isn't legal under existing deployed standards for this reason). But there are new standards in the making that could make it viable over longer distances. You couldn't use today's implementation in a car, or to a remote house that has no DLS/Cable in their neighborhood.

WiMax, is higher-powered, therefore longer distance, licensed spectrum, with control/quality of service in the protocol, which once connected, stops collision/competition between devices, AND has tower to tower capability like mobile phones have. It also isn't in the shared frequency spectrum with bluetooth, cordless phones. You CAN use this in a car or to remote houses IF it gets deployed by those who buy the spectrum licenses, like Sprint is doing. In fact if you tethered your WiMax Sprint phone to a PC, and set that PC up as a router (not hard) I see no reason why Sprint's offering today couldn't serve as your total home broadband solution (but don't know their rules on this). An Internet ISP could possibly offer this too for a local area - like the remote home example. My brother has a microwave broadband provider today, but I don't know if it's a WiMax setup; I don't know the economic feasibility of this.
Hope this helps.

Sprint sells a device that does exactly that--bridges a Wimax connection with a Wifi router so you can connect wherever there is service. Likewise I can do that with my Wimax-enabled laptop and an ad-hoc connection.