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Sprint to add Nokia as Wimax equipment supplier?

Sprint Nextel is close to making Nokia its third network-equipment supplier for its next-generation network that is based on WiMax technology, according to a story published in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

The article said that Sprint could announce the decision as early as next week. Sprint plans to invest $3 billion during the next two years to build the new network that will provide more bandwidth on its wireless network for a lower cost. If it wins the contract, Nokia would get a portion of that money. And Sprint would also likely sell Nokia handsets that can be used on the network that is expected to reach 100 million people by 2008.

In August, the company announced it was working with Motorola and Samsung. Other companies bidding for the business included the newly formed Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel Networks, as well as Chinese suppliers, ZTE and Huawei Technologies.