Sprint Nextel, which said it would spend as much as $5 billion building a nationwide wireless broadband network based on WiMAX, handed out the coveted New York City contract to Samsung. The Korean vendor was earlier awarded the same role in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Providence, Rhode Island.

“New York is the ultimate plum because of the growth and demand potential, so obviously Sprint is happy with Samsung’s performance so far,” said Joe Nordgaard, director of wireless consulting firm Spectral Advantage.
Samsung will provide the equipment for the U.S. network and Sprint Nextel will operate it. Sprint is also working with other top telecommunications players such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Intel to develop chips, devices and network gear for such services in other cities and has partnered with Clearwire to build the nationwide WiMAX network.

Sprint expects to offer its WiMAX services, dubbed XOHM, to a potential 100 million customers in most of the major cities in the U.S. by the end of 2008 with speeds and performance comparable to wired services such as DSL.