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Digital Revolution: Future Of Wireless

Later this year people in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Chicago will be the first in the country to glimpse what could be the future of wireless computing. The technology is called WiMAX: a wireless protocol that promises to be faster, better and more mobile than anything we've seen before. What’s the trade?

Atish Gude, SVP of Mobile Broadband for Sprint Nextel (S) joins the guys for this conversation. Here are excerpts of what was said.

Dylan Ratigan explains on Tuesday the FCC approved a much-debated "open access" provision, that will allow customers to use whatever phone and software they want on about one-third of the spectrum to be auctioned off later this year.

Public interest groups, later joined by Internet search engine giant Google (GOOG), argued that the best way to ensure that a third-pipe competitor would emerge was to reserve some of the spectrum for use by a wholesaler.

Google even said it might bid if such a condition were imposed. A wholesale requirement would have discouraged big cable and telephone companies -- who would be unlikely to lease space on the new network to potential competitors -- from bidding.

Why does FCC ruling matter?

“At Sprint we have been advocating the open internet technology on WiMAX,” explains Gude. “We’ve always said our WiMAX will be open… we believe that is the future of the internet and we think there is a great opportunity.”

Who is going to keep WiMAX secure.

“What we are building is a new model based on the mobile internet,” explains Gude. “The internet is the great repository of knowledge and content..

(Interrupts) But how do you secure an umbrella wireless environment?

“A technology that’s built on phone technology like 2.5 comes with a lot of security,” explains Gude. Unlike WiFi which is completely open. The network that will come with WiMAX will inherently come with a lot of security with it. In addition we will allow corporations to run VPN services which enhance security… so the fear that people have that this is open to snoopers and others.. is not completely true.”

Have you cut a deal with McAfee or someone like that?

“From a wireless access standpoint Sprint will stand behind the security of the network that we build. From an open internet perspective the internet is the way it is…”

(interrupts) But are you working with someone?

“We can’t tell you who we are working with – but we are working with internet players,” says Gude.

How much is the deal with Google worth?

“The Google relationship brings us a great platform player to build a portal for the mobile internet?

And how much is that worth to you?

“We haven’t disclosed number,” says Gude. “But Google is a great partner and search revenue will be pretty big.”

Is Sprint modeling itself after Alvarion or some other company?

“They’re an infrastructure player,” replies Gude. “We’ve got 3 great partners in Samsung, Nokia (NOK) and Motorola (MOT) and we’re working with them.”

Dylan ask the guys if there's a trade.

Jeff Macke thinks it will be great for the hardware players but it’s too early to trade it.

Pete Najarian likes Alvarion (ALVR ).

Sea Change

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Trader disclosure: On July 31st 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (ATVI), Najarian Owns (GS); Bolling Owns (DIS), (T); Bolling Is Short S&P Futures; Bolling Is Short Nasdaq Futures: CNBC Is A Service Of NBC Universal And Dow Jones