Sprint and Motorola are jointly conducting wireless broadband technology tests and equipment trials through 2006 to help substantiate next-generation wireless network infrastructure requirements and consumer products for future wireless interactive multimedia services.

The collaboration will spur IEEE 802.16e (2.5GHz) technology development, validate vendor solutions and help formulate network architecture strategies. The technical assessment involves lab testing of base station equipment, smart antenna technology and multimedia handsets and field trials in certain locations beginning this year and running through next as a basis for additional business-case evaluation. Successful outcomes will lead to customer demonstrations and further user studies for market applicability.

"Sprint is fostering a number of strategic partnerships and investigating multiple technologies in support of future wireless interactive multimedia services," explained Oliver Valente, chief technology officer and vice president - Technology Development, Sprint. "WiMAX is one of the technologies Sprint is investigating for services which would be considered for deployment in the 2.5 GHz band of spectrum."

"Motorola will use its deep heritage in wireless radio technology innovation, IP core switching and wireless devices to help Sprint validate next-generation wireless opportunities," said Dan Coombes, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Motorola Networks.

Sprint previously signed a related agreement with Intel as it begins to cultivate an ecosystem of chipsets, devices, equipment and infrastructure for future wireless broadband services. Sprint has provided broadband wireless service in the past and continues to investigate potential offerings of interest to the marketplace. In January, Sprint joined the WiMAX Forum as a principal member to lend its support and long-standing network expertise to that organization's mission of global interoperability standards formation for broadband wireless access products.