So, Sprint's announcing that Sprint's WiMax network has officially passed Sprint's own tests for being ready for commercial service (and awesomeness). The criteria included overall and handoff performance, as well as handoff delay, with (semi) real-world testing going down in the Baltimore and DC-area networks. That's great, if it actually means the ball is finally rolling. But color us a believer when we can actually jump on to play with it. Witness WiMax's readiness in the press release below.
Sprint and Samsung Declare Mobile WiMAX Technology Is Now Ready for Commercial Service Samsung's Mobile WiMAX infrastructure and devices pass Sprint's rigorous commercial acceptance criteria with flying colors Herndon, Va. - May 15, 2008 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and Samsung Electronics Corporation Ltd. announced today that a new broadband wireless network offering the speed and mobility of WiMAX has met Sprint's rigorous commercial acceptance criteria including overall performance, handoff performance and handoff delay. This key technical milestone has been passed after extensive evaluation both in the XOHMTM lab environment and with the commercial service network being built in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. Sprint plans on launching commercial WiMAX service in those cities later this year. Samsung has been working with Sprint in the United States to test and build Sprint's XOHM mobile broadband Internet service compliant to the mobile WiMAX standard. Since finalizing a supply agreement in 2007, the two companies have steadily made progress on the extensive project with previous key milestones including first data session in the lab (June 2007), first data session on the live network (October 2007) and successful interoperability testing with multiple other device vendors (April 2008). "This is a major step towards launch readiness and Sprint is extremely pleased with the performance of the mobile WiMAX network and access devices from Samsung," said BarryWest, XOHM president. "The collaboration with Samsung and our other partners has created a WiMAX ecosystem that has now proven that it can deliver this new technology to the marketplace well ahead of any feasible alternative." Last month, Samsung announced the introduction of several WiMAX-enabled devices. The Express Card (E100 PC Card) and WiMAX embedded UMPC (Q1 Ultra Premium Mobile PC) underscore Samsung's position as the leading provider of end-to-end mobile WiMAX network systems. With the technology proven to be ready, the Samsung mobile WiMAX systems being deployed for Sprint in Baltimore and Washington D.C. support the commercial introduction of XOHM service anticipated to begin later this year. "The wireless subscribers in the United States are ready to step up to the next level of a truly broadband wireless network that surpasses the performance of existing wireless networks today," said Dr. Hwan Chung, senior vice president of Samsung Telecommunications America. "Sprint's acceptance of Samsung's WiMAX technology shows Samsung's strong commitment to meet our customers' needs for the most reliable, seamless, and fastest wireless network. Samsung's mobile WiMAX expertise will help Sprint answer the mobile broadband needs of U.S.wireless subscribers." he added. Samsung is the global leader in delivering mobile WiMAX technologies and offers an end-to-end solution including chipsets, infrastructure, mobile devices and consumer electronics, including devices capable of accessing both mobile WiMAX and other wireless technologies. The XOHM business unit within Sprint specifically focuses on developing the WiMAX ecosystem and standards to bring the latest broadband wireless technology to the U.S. marketplace. Sprint is utilizing the significant spectrum holdings at 2.5 GHz that were combined in the Sprint Nextel merger to deploy mobile WiMAX technology from Samsung and other vendors.