The Internal WiMax Battle: Sprint vs Nextel
Date: Tuesday, July 26 @ 00:49:52 MDT
Topic: Sprint PCS
Sprint and Nextel appear to have diverging points of view when it comes to wireless broadband. Sprint has taken a mostly quiet approach, joining the WiMax forum in a hope to drive it towards Sprint's internal directions, while Nextel has taken more of a "just do it" approach.
As you may have seen in the Nextel wireless broadband trial, Nextel has pushed for a public image of their own broadband service. Sprint however, may have a different plan in mind. Think MVNO.
Sprint's recent history with MVNO's has been very sucessful, and that has had the folks in Overland Park thinking. They are keeping both roads open, but, are leaning towards being the network provider for WiMax, but be completely transparent as the brand.
For example, Earthlink would tap Sprint's WiMax to offer internet to customers, Vonage could use it to offer even lower cost VoIP service, and, computer companies could offer extended range wireless access from their laptops.
Nextel however, wants their name all over it. They want it to be their web, their VoIP, their stamp on network cards. And, with most of the Nextel broadband team just starting to network with Sprint, the head-butting has yet to ensue in levels that would spill onto web sites.
However, Sprint is taking the smart strategy of taking a wait-and-see approach to WiMax, testing equipment in their ATL labs, while briging the Nextel teams onboard and off of flash-based wireless standards. It's a good start, but the MVNO route is an unproven one. We'll have more on Sprint MVNOs (just because everyone has something to say on MVNOs these days) soon.