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Will Sprint be Your Next Internet Company

Boot Camp feature for Friday, October 17, 2008

Will Sprint be your next Internet service company? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sprint Nextel has turned on the first mobile WiMax network in the U.S.....with Baltimore being the first city where the service...called Xohm is available. And right from the start...there's equipment available to use the network on the road and in the home. Users can buy the services separately....or bundled together...with the initial price being discounted to 50 dollars a month. Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse....

"What customers want is...they want whatever it is...communication, information, entertainment... they want it right now. Which is a combination of not only very fast speeds, but they don't want to have to wait until they get home or to the office to get it. So it's basically ubiquitous speeds. And nothing will bring the Now network to life like 4G. In terms of our proof points, what we've been focusing on at Sprint...are first of all making pricing around data capability simple. We launched Simply Everything. But nothing will bring simplicity to pricing like what the team's come up with in Xohm, with respect to 4G."

But to make it work....the network will have to be available....just about everywhere. That will take billions of dollars. Sprint is planning to accomplish that through a joint venture with Clearwire and with help from partners like Intel and Google. Will it succeed? Bigger competitors AT&T and Verizon....are planning their own 4G networks...using different technology. Sprint's success may hinge on how much of a head start it can muster. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.