Sprint CFO: WiMax To Yield 10 Times Cost Performance

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NEW YORK (Dow Jones) Sprint Nextel's WiMax network could yield a tenfold increase in improved cost performance according to Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh.

Sprint is spending billions to build out a WiMax network that will provide high-speed wireless connection across great distances. Saleh, speaking at the Lehman Brothers analyst conference Wednesday, said the network also will lower infrastructure costs and allow the carrier to offer services at a cheaper rate.

The company is hoping the WiMax network will give it a first-mover advantage and build a strong market brand, Saleh said.

Sprint hopes its dual-mode phones - which run off both the Sprint CDMA network and the Nextel iDEN network - will help stave off the decline in its Nextel customer base. The company also will bring a push-to-talk feature resembling walkie talking onto its Sprint network, similar to what Nextel customers currently enjoy.

Saleh reiterated the belief that the industry continues to show positive growth and that Sprint is making moves to take advantage of that opportunity.

The carrier has struggled with subscriber growth over the past few quarters as a result of its mismanagement of the Nextel network and its decision to tighten its credit policy. Rivals such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless - have taken advantage by scooping up new customers at Sprint's expense.

Sprint recently traded at $22.24, up 9 cents, or 0.4%.

-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2020; roger.cheng@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires"

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Tags: at&t  verizon wireless  iden  chief financial officer  push-to-talk  dual-mode 

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