The city of Henderson, Nev., has engaged Sprint Nextel to trial a mesh Wi-Fi network. The network will offer open access to city officials, businesses, individuals, and first responders such as fire and police.
The arrangement, the first of its kind for Sprint, gives the company vital experience in the emerging market for municipal mesh wireless networks.
The service trial will have two phases. The first will provide coverage to Henderson’s downtown area; the second will extend the service to a new development of with mixed retail, office, and residential space.
Sprint is in the process of spinning off the business unit responsible for the trial. The operation, which will adopt the name Embarq, will provide a suite of communications services, consisting of local and long distance voice and data services, including high-speed Internet access. Embarq expects to be a NYSE-listed company with approximately $6 billion in annual revenues, and will immediately become the fifth largest local communications company in the United States based on the company’s 7.35 million access lines as of December 31, 2005.