WiMAX is one of the mobile technologies that promised so much and ultimately was not able to deliver on its promises -- at least on the scale that most people hoped. Sprint began talking up its Xohm service in early 2008.
About the time Sprint put its plans for its Xohm WiMAX service into motion, it began to hemorrhage profits and subscribers leading to a much smaller soft launch than what Sprint had initially hoped for. USA Today reports that Sprint is finally launching its first commercial WiMAX network in Baltimore.
The Baltimore network will operate under Sprint's Xohm brand and will offer subscribers access to wireless data speeds of 2 to 4 Mbps depending on the network load. Pricing for the service is downright cheap at $10 for a day pass of unlimited use and monthly plans starting at $35 per month both without contracts.
Users needing more service can get unlimited usage for $50 per month. Any plan opted for requires a WiMAX aircard or modem that retail for $45 each. The catch to the Baltimore network is that at launch it will only serve the downtown area. This is not quite what Sprint had promised when we first heard of Xohm with promises of seamless connectivity over an entire city.
USA Today quotes Lee Mellon, a field tech from Sprint saying, "The network, which provides a lot of bandwidth, can also handle high-definition video streaming, peer-to-peer file sharing and other capacity-guzzling applications."
DailyTech reported that Sprint's oft-delayed Xohm service would be joined with Clearwire to form a company that will operate under the Clearwire brand to pursue a nationwide WiMAX network in May. Sprint promised its first commercial WiMAX network would come this fall, and for once it will be able to live up to its promises with Xohm.
Baltimore won’t be the only major city getting WiMAX networks between now and the beginning of 2009. Other cities including -- Washington, D.C., Portland, Ore., Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago all have WiMAX networks under construction.