Sprint faces WiMAX pressure

Was it only two weeks ago that the industry was celebrating the surging WiMAX market and Sprint Nextel's leadership of the WiMAX ecosystem? Now, following the resignation of Sprint CEO Gary Forsee, the company reportedly is facing pressure from investors to halt or slow its $5 billion WiMAX strategy.

Sprint CTO Barry West has been a one-man, promotional tour de force for WiMAX, and for the company to turn back now almost seems unthinkable. With Sprint's WiMAX plans only at the trial stage, turning back is entirely possible. If that were to happen, would Sprint also lose West, one of the brightest and most engaging technologists in telecom? And what will become of WiMAX? Many other companies are supporting the technology, but Sprint's commitment inspired and forced other service providers, including telcos, to take a closer look at WiMAX.

For more:
- CNET covers Wall Street's WiMAX worries

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Also: We want to offer a slight clarification on yesterday's posting about Forsee's resignation. It may have sounded like we suggested Sprint had no wireline properties left after the spin-off of Embarq, but of course, the company still has domestic and international wireline long-haul and IP backbone assets that are very productive. Anyway, when we said "wireline," we meant local land line assets.