Tomorrow’s the day that Sprint’s WiMAX network was scheduled to be shut down, but thanks to a judge’s order, that’s not going to happen.
Massachusetts superior court judge Janet Sanders has ordered a temporary halt on Sprint’s effort to shut down its WiMAX network, saying that groups that still use the network for low-cost broadband access. Judge Sanders said that these groups have shown that they could succeed at proving that Sprint violated a contract by planning to shut down its WiMAX coverage. This agreement, which was formed in 2006, involved Clearwire (now part of Sprint) allowing companies like Mobile Citizen to provide mobile broadband to schools, social welfare agencies, and nonprofits.
Obviously Sprint is all about its LTE network now, and while Mobile Citizen has been working to transition its customers to that LTE network, not everyone was going to be moved off WiMAX by November 6. As a result, Mobile Citizen filed suit to force Sprint to keep its WiMAX service live in select areas for 90 days to give Mobile Citizen and its customers more time to transition to Sprint’s LTE network.
Most of us probably moved off of Sprint’s WiMAX network quite a while ago, but this judge’s order shows that there are still some folks that rely on WiMAX for affordable broadband access that doesn’t require cables. Now Mobile Citizen and its customers could end up keeping Sprint’s WiMAX network alive for another few months, at least in some parts of the country.
Sprint has not commented on this situation.