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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Weekend Edition: WiMax Nation: SprintNextel Is Just The First

Stocks: (MOT)(INTC)(AMD)(S)

Samsung is saying that four more global wireless operator will announce the use of WiMax for their next generation systems and that another six are conducting trials of the technology, according to a report by Reuters. Samsung, Intel, and Motorola have been the big backers of the new technology, and huge roll-outs of WiMax in the US and abroad should bring them billions of dollars in new revenue.

Samsung says that it will provide network gear and handsets for these deployments, while Intel will supply chips. This new business may help offset the lackluster sales of chips for PCs that have damaged the stocks of both Intel and AMD. However, AMD does not have a way out of the slowing PC market while Intel's investment in WiMax may boost its revenues over the next several years. Intel's stock trades at $19.84, just above its 52-week low of $16.75. The company has lost over $80 billion in market cap over the last year.

The annoucement also make the decision by Sprint/Nextel to use WiMax for its next generation high-speed wireless phone system look smart, even though it will cost the company $3 billion. Sprint has been pilloried for its poor intergration of the Nextel customer base, and the company's president recently departed. A correct call on WiMax may help the company recover some of its share price and reputation.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies he writes about.

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