US operator and WiMAX pin up Sprint has announced that Samsung has met its commercial acceptance criteria for mobile WiMAX. This means Sprint is happy with the overall performance, handoff performance and handoff delay.

Korean vendor Samsung is building out mobile WiMAX networks for Sprint in Baltimore and Washington DC.

Since finalising a supply agreement in 2007, Samsung and Sprint have steadily made progress on the extensive project with previous key milestones, including first data session in the lab (June 2007), first data session on the live network (October 2007) and successful interoperability testing with multiple other device vendors (April 2008).

“This is a major step towards launch readiness and Sprint is extremely pleased with the performance of the mobile WiMAX network and access devices from Samsung,” said Barry West, president of Xohm, Sprint’s WiMAX business unit and brand name for the service. “The collaboration with Samsung and our other partners has created a WiMAX ecosystem that has now proven that it can deliver this new technology to the marketplace well ahead of any feasible alternative.”┬áLast month, Samsung announced the introduction of several WiMAX-enabled devices: the Express Card (E100 PC Card) and WiMAX embedded UMPC (Q1 Ultra Premium Mobile PC).

Sprint has yet to put a date on when it will launch commercial WiMAX, although a company spokesperson said it will be before the formation of the newly announced Clearwire venture which, if given regulatory approval, will happen during the fourth quarter.

It is not yet clear whether the Xohm brand name will be retained or not. “That will be up to the new Clearwire management to decide,” the Sprint spokesperson said.