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Three major U.S. cites to get Xohm this Spring

Many ardent mobile phone and laptop users are still waiting for high-speed wireless connections to come to their cities. Many are left utilizing mobile data plans that are on par with dial up connections from the early 1990’s rather than being comparable to today’s broadband speeds.

PC World reports that Sprint’s oft-delayed WiMAX service dubbed Xohm has a soft launch coming soon. According to WiMAX Forum president and CEO Ron Resnick, WiMAX products are here and WiMAX is here. That statement will sound hollow to those looking forward to WiMAX in the United States.

While there have been 260 commercial deployments of WiMAX in 110 countries according to Resnick, the service has yet to see wide availability in America, and it could be a while yet before that happens.

Ali Tabassi, Sprint’s VP for technology development, says that a soft launch of the Xohm service will happen this spring in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Tabassi points out, however, that the budget for rolling the service out to the majority of Sprint customers is not yet finalized.

The cost of setting up a national WiMAX network from Sprint is reported to be $5 billion and if Sprint is willing and able to part with that amount of money is a decision Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has yet to make. $5 billion is a huge chunk of change in anyone’s book and more so when Sprint is cutting back on staff to cut costs as it loses customers to rivals.

The promise Sprint’s Xohm service makes is tantalizing with WiMAX Forum members claiming download speeds in the area of three to five megabits per second and upload speeds of one to one and a half megabits per second.

The only thing known now aside from the soft launch in the three major U.S. cities is that Sprint acknowledges it will not hit the 100 million subscriber mark for its Xohm service in 2008 it had aimed for.





"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg







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