Sprint Nextel invests in WiMax

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Sprint Nextel says it's building a wireless network with WiMax technology. WiMax is the bigger cousin on Wi-Fi. You can log-on from miles away instead of just a few hundred feet. Ashley Milne-Tyte looks at whether this is a good call.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Sprint is betting on more and more people wanting to send e-mail, download music and catch their favorite TV shows from anywhere.

Ovum Consulting analyst Roger Entner says Sprint is on the right track.

ROGER ENTNER:"If you remember the days before you ever had a cell phone, you were thinking, why do I need to get a cell phone that people can talk to me everywhere? Once you have it you don't want to be without it anymore."

Still, some have questioned the wisdom of such a large investment. Berge Ayvasian of the Yankee Group isn't one of them.

BERGE AYVASIAN:"I think there is a risk here but it's a risk that needs to be taken, they are the only ones who can afford to be disruptive about the current business model of telecommunications."

For one thing, the company's already bailed out of the regular phone business. And it owns a large swath of broadcast spectrum so it can start building right away. Ayvasian expects Sprint will start profiting from the new network a year or two after it's up.

In New York, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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