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January 5, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Sprint announces new WiMax vendor

Sprint Nextel announced today it has named Nokia as key infrastructure and device provider for its WiMax network, topping off its list of vendors, which include Intel, Samsung and Motorola.

Sprint has committed to spending up to $800 million this year and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion next year to build what it is calling a fourth generation, or 4G, wireless broadband network. The first markets are expected to go live late this year. By year-end 2008, Sprint expects to provide service that could reach up to 100 million people.

Kirkland-based Clearwire has already started to roll out a fixed, proprietary version of WiMax. To date, it has launched in about 34 markets and covers about 8.6 million people.

By having a slew of vendors, Sprint hopes to provide choice to the consumer while keeping costs down through competition.

Nokia said today that it will be charged with:

— Being a major supplier to Sprint for WiMax network infrastructure.

— Developing WiMax-enabled mobile devices in significant volumes, including multimedia computers and Internet tablets.

— Developing mobility services and applications.

— Developing co-market efforts to drive global adoption and establish worldwide roaming.

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