Analysts are skeptical that Sprint Nextel will meet its target of launching its WiMax network in the U.S. in 2008. According to Dresdner Kleinwort, “the whole project will be marred by severe delays, quality deficiencies and functional slippages.” The analyst firm does not see mass market rollout until 2009 to 2010. Vendors at the 3GSM show in Barcelona had the same opinion.
Sprint affirmed that the development of the network is progressing smoothly. A company spokesman said the soft launches will take place by the end of the year and the commercial launch is due in 2008, with coverage expected to reach 100 million people. He downplayed the message of the earnings call, which suggested that Sprint hopes to expand its list of partner-investors that currently include Intel, Motorola and Samsung. He said the earnings call is just a reiteration of the company’s previous announcements. The representative pointed out that the 4G capital expenditure in 2007 has been reduced from $1 billion to $800 million following vendor contract finalization.