Sprint Nextel today announced that it will introduce a fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband network by the end of next year. Sprint will build the network, which will operate on the 802.16e mobile WiMax standard, on the carrier's existing cell sites. Also, the network will operate on the 2.5GHz spectrum and is supposed to cover 80 percent of the U.S. population eventually.
As for devices, Motorola and Samsung said they will partner with Sprint to build dual-mode CDMA/WiMax phones, while Intel announced it will design WiMax devices and chipsets. After trials, Sprint is hoping it can offer download speeds of 2Mbps to 4Mbps, which is far beyond the carrier's current 3G EV-DO network. Sprint hasn't set a pricing scale yet but it promises any costs will be comparable to wireline broadband service.