Sprint Nextel Corp.is expected to announce it is choosing the WiMax technology to build a new wireless Internet network in coming years, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sprint's decision, which could be announced on Tuesday, would be a big win for backers of the new technology, such as Intel Corp. and Motorola Inc., and a setback for wireless company Qualcomm Inc., which backs a rival technology, the article said.

WiMax can spread a wireless Internet signal over several miles and is a longer-range version of the popular Wi-Fi Internet technology, the paper said.

Building a nationwide WiMax network could cost Sprint between $1 billion and $4 billion, the report said, quoting analysts.

No one was not immediately available at Sprint to comment on the report.