Google joins Sprint to set up WiMax network

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Google joins Sprint to set up WiMax network

Reston (VA) – The #3 US cell phone service provider has joined forces with #1 online advertiser to delve into a new project that expands both companies’ presence in the wireless Internet market.

In a revenue sharing project, Sprint will develop major wireless networks while Google offers specific applications that users can tap into while using the WiMax service.

Unlike traditional Wi-Fi signals, WiMax offers high speed Internet over a range of miles.  The technology has been in place for several years but so far has gained little attention.  Part of the problem is most devices cannot currently pick up a WiMax signal.  Sprint plans to sell subscription cards for an unspecified price, which would give users full access to the network.

The partnership comes on the heels of Google’s announcement to work with Clearwire to build a nationwide WiMax network.  It’s a project Sprint has been trying to get off the ground for months.

Sprint Nextel has seen disappointing sales over the past year.  In the first quarter of 2007, around 660,000 customers canceled their service.  Sprint is behind Verizon and AT&T in terms of number of subscribers.

The new service will roll out to Washington, Baltimore, and Chicago this year, reports the Washington Post, with plans to reach the rest of the country in the second quarter of next year.