Not the death of WiMax

Sprint Nextel and Clearwire have walked away from a partnership that would blanket a third of the U.S. population in WiMax access, but it’s a bump in the road, not a major detour. (Or, as Iain Grant of SeaBoard Group puts it, “It’s certainly not the death of WiMax.”)

With no one in the driver’s seat at Sprint — CEO Gary Forsee having been nudged out a month ago — it shouldn’t be a surprise that the brakes might be applied to a deal this big for now. Expect both parties to be back at thetable some time soon. And don’t expect this to slow momentum in Canada toward more WiMax pilots and rollouts.

What this might mean, though, is good vibes for LTE proponents. The competing 4G standard is presumed by some analysts to be the eventual winner on the wireless broadband front, but it’s hampered by WiMax’s two-year head start.

And, of course, it extends the lifetime of relevance for public and municipal WiFi.

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