WiMax Sugar Daddies Emerge; $3-5 Billion Tab Involved

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A WiMax-connected future offers incredible possibilities, but building the infrastructure requires serious capital.

And for ambitious Sprint Nextel, that opens the door for serious partners.

Enter Comcast and Time Warner Cable, both of whom are now showing interest in the project according to the Wall Street Journal.  Sources noted that Comcast would contribute $1 billion to the Sprint-led WiMax initiative, while Time Warner would pony $500 million.  That is a substantial chunk of the roughly $3-5 billion required for the nationwide rollout.

Sprint and partner Clearwire would handle the construction and oversight of the network, and other potential investors include Bright House Networks, Intel, and Google.  The network would allow the investors to deliver ultra-fast connections over-the-air, and battle more aggressively with wireless incumbents like Verizon and AT&T.

Outside of that battleground, a WiMax infrastructure holds major promise for total music ubiquity, and a foundation for startups and products based on virtually-hosted collections.