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back to article Sprint CEO admits WiMAX gamble didn't pay off

Dan Hesse has admitted that his company's gamble in investing in WiMAX hasn't paid off in providing Sprint with a first-mover advantage – even if it has turned out great for customers. Sprint's CEO was interviewed by Walt Mossberg at the All Things Digital conference in San Francisco, as reported by PC World, and admitted that …

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Boffin

Dead-end tech? Kinda like CDMA

Unfortunately, that one will still live on for quite a while, because Verizon and Sprint use it, and cover a good chunk of the US. Meh.

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FAIL

WiMax / Clearwire SUCKS (and I'd like to take $10 a month out of Dan Hesse's a$$).

As a "relatively" happy owner of an HTC EVO 4G on the Sprint network, I think it is fair for me to comment on the value of WiMax, Clearwire, etc to me... and that value is NONE. ZERO, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA.... <insert valueless descriptor here> I'm getting hit with a $10 monthly sucker tax for no return.

Oh and I doubt that anyone at Sprint would honestly question that statement knowing the phone I'm using and knowing Sprint's (Clearwire's) 4G "network." (Calling it a network is almost disingenuous).

Why?

1) Try and find actual coverage (and I live in a major city that is supposed to have really good coverage).

2) If you are actually getting 4G signal, you better be REALLY close to the tower / have a high strength signal or the network speed drops off like a rock. (If I'm a tick off of full strength on 4G, I'm better served to turn it off and use 3G if I want anything approaching reliably consistent bandwidth).

3) Bye Bye Battery - The EVO is not blessed with great battery capacity/life to begin with, but connect it to a 4G network and you can actually watch the battery meter drain down. (I'm really not joking about this).

4) Half of the Sprint applications don't even operate over 4G?!?!? WTF???? So I wanted to use Sprint's TV application a couple of months ago, but couldn't get it to operate. I call tech support because I know I should have access to it. I'm told to turn off 4G so that I can use it because they don't operate it over 4G - only their 3G network. WTF??? Video is the kind of application that 4G was intended for and you don't run your TV programs over it?

Hey Dan, you've been getting $10 a month out of a whole bunch of users who get nothing from your WiMax network - so quit your freaking whining. You don't deserve a first-mover advantage if this is the best you could make out of WiMax.

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I partly agree

Also being the proud owner of an EVO and living in the 2nd largest market in the US, I have pretty good 4G coverage. Im running into few dead spots and even manage to get 2 out 3 bars in my apartment.

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Fixed silver cloud

Presuming they can stay in business, for some of us Clearwire's shift to MarketingMax aka "WiMax" aka the rebranded modulation/coding mashup has been a boon. Here in my Seattle neighborhood the telco copper plant is too degraded to provide DSL at more than 256k while the other non-choice is to be stuffed into Comcast's trunk (boot) and taken for an open-ended ride. Meanwhile, the previous iteration of Clearwire was quite good, while after some teething problems the newer system is close to perfect. We're very thankful for the alternative.

Results might not be so good if more people were forced to use the service in our neck of the woods.

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Boffin

It didn't pay off because they are greedy idiots

Basically, they (Clear.com) want to sell crappy service for the same price a cable. Now Clearwire.com almost has it right, in that they do have a $25/mo 6Mbps service. But it is limited to iOS devices. What idiot put that restriction on that deal clearly flunked out of business school.

Anyone who comes along and offers internet access, be it WiMax, wired, or whatever, in the "couple of Mbps" range in the $20-$25/mo price point, will eat everyone else's lunch. I, and most people I know, don't have any use for our cable's 15Mbps speed at the $50/mo or higher price point, and would gladly drop to 2-3Mbps if we only needed to pay $20/mo.

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FAIL

Not WiMax's fault

Don't blame the technology, Sprint, blame yourselves.

If Sprint hadn't made the utterly brain-dead decision to buy Nextel (Alltel or even US Cellular would have been a much better choice) and lost a huge number of subscribers as a result, they would've had enough money to have WiMax rolled out in all major markets by late 2009. The technology was ready, but Sprint wasn't.

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