In the race to get to market, WiMax is clearly ahead, but the LTE camp seems to be working fast to catch up. Rumors emerged today that Sprint (NYSE: S) is getting ready to launch its Xohm WiMax service in Baltimore on Oct. 6, meanwhile T-Mobile International and Nortel Networks said they successfully tested LTE while driving in a car on a highway in Bonn, Germany. Reuters reported that while driving at 67 kph, they achieved data rates of up to 170 mbps for downloads and up to 50 mbps for uploads — which is as fast or faster than fiber.
Many carriers have made early commitments to LTE even though the technology is still in the infancy stage, and Sprint and Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) are committed to rolling out WiMax in the U.S., so there’s not a single path being picked for 4G. Previously, T-Mobile said it was leaning towards LTE, but now, it sounds less firm. Reuters wrote that the company will make a decision within six months. The two technologies are very similar, but Nortel has said it sees LTE as the most likely upgrade path for about 80 percent of the world’s existing mobile phone providers, with others going for WiMax.