Mobile phone and Internet users around the world have one thing in common—everyone wants faster speeds. In some parts of the world WiMax is readily available, but here in America the rollout of WiMax is slow going.
Sprint previously promised to launch its WiMax service, dubbed Xohm, with ten devices to take advantage of the faster speeds. One of the ten items promised is the new Nokia N810 designed for WiMax. The smallish device is about the size of a typical smartphone, but lacks the phone features.
Nokia gave the device a 4.13-inch touch screen and the ability to operate on Wi-Fi networks. Reuters reports that Sprint has promised to open its WiMax network to more devices than phones and Internet devices like the N810. Sprint will also allow devices like MP3 players and digital cameras onto its network.
The problem with the N810 for WiMax for many will be the fact that Sprint’s financial woes of late have it rethinking the $5 billion investment it planned to make in its WiMax Xohm service. Sprint first announced its grand plans for Xohm in August of 2007. In January of 2008 Sprint was announcing layoffs due in part to the loss of subscribers and dropping revenues.
Along with the announcement that Sprint would shed in the area of 4000 employees came the rumor that Sprint would be cutting back on its Xohm rollout plans as a cost saving measure. That rumor turned out to be true when Sprint announced that a soft launch of the Xohm service would happen in three markets—Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
Nokia isn’t flustered by the cutback of Sprint’s Xohm WiMax service in America. Nokia head of North American business, Mark Louison said, “WiMax is bigger than Sprint." Louison says Nokia will find a market for the N810 WiMax overseas.