Sprint and Samsung has announced that the companies have completed commercial acceptance testing on Sprint’s Xohm WiMax mobile broadband offering, and the network is now “ready” for the launch of commercial services. However, Sprint still hasn’t offered any details as to when WiMax service might actually roll out to consumers outside of network trial areas: the official line remains “later this year.”
Completing commercial acceptance testing “is a major step towards launch readiness and Sprint is extremely pleased with the performance of the mobile WiMAX network and access devices from Samsung,” said Xohmn president Barry West, in a statement. “The collaboration with Samsung and our other partners has created a WiMax ecosystem that has now proven that it can deliver this new technology to the marketplace well ahead of any feasible alternative.”
Clearing the network for commercial use means that Sprint’s WiMax implementation has met overall performance and hand-off testing standards. The company has been conducting performance tests since June 2007, both in lab settings as well as on the company’s trial networks in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. areas. Interoperability testing with WiMax devices officially got underway in April 2008.
Sprint just announced a multi-billion dollar partnership with Clearwire, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks to shoulder the cost of deploying a nationwide WiMax network under the name Clearwire: the companies hope to have WiMax coverage rolled out to between 120 and 140 million potential U.S. customers by the end of 2010.