Sprint to launch WiMax service in September

Sprint Nextel will launch its first commercial WiMax service in Baltimore in September. Then, the wireless operator will add two others cities — Chicago and Washington, D.C. — by the end of the year.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made the announcements last week during a speech at the NXTComm trade show in Las Vegas.

Sprint’s much-anticipated WiMax service has been delayed several times. The company has been testing the mobile WiMax service with download speeds of between 2Mb/s and 4Mb/s since the end of last year in Chicago and the Washington/Baltimore area.

The company, “CNET News” reported, has faced some delays due to technical issues having to do with backhauling or connecting traffic back to Sprint’s core network.

Last month, Sprint said it would spin off its WiMax assets and team with another service provider, Clearwire, to build a nationwide WiMax network. The new joint venture, called Clearwire, will be majority-owned by Sprint and has taken investments from cable operators Comcast and Time Warner Cable as well as from major technology companies such as Intel and Google.

During his speech, Hesse said that the new Sprint Clearwire venture has at least a two-year head start over other wireless operators who plan to build 4G wireless networks.