Sprint Xohm rings in WiMAX era in US
Press release, September 30; Michael McManus, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 30 September 2008]
Sprint has officially launched its Xohm mobile WiMAX technology service in Baltimore, making its the first major mobile broadband commercial service available in the US. Xohm noted that the new WiMAX service will differ from current wireless services in that there are no long-term commitments or contracts required, freeing customers from restrictive long-term subsidized plans. Monthly home, on-the-go and day-pass Internet plans will be offered to provide service choices, while a single monthly charge covers service for multiple WiMAX access devices.
The company added that with Xohm, customers will be able to enjoy average downlink speeds of 2-4 Mbps.
Xohm indicated that customers can purchase Xohm-branded Samsung Express air cards for US$59.99 and ZyXEL modems for US$79.99. Additional WiMAX devices such as a ZTE USB modem, Intel Centrino 2 WiMAX notebook PCs and the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition are expected to hit the market later this year.
Introductory offers allow customers to choose from both daily and month-to-month service options. At launch, mobile WiMAX service plans include a US$10 Day pass, US$25 monthly Home Internet service and US$30 monthly On-the-go service. Special launch pricing includes a US$50 "Pick 2 for Life" monthly service option covering two different WiMAX devices.
Sprint indicated that it will be the first and only national wireless carrier to offer customers a dual-mode 3G/4G device that extends the power of Sprint's NOW network. Expected to launch in the fourth quarter, this Sprint device will operate on the nation's largest 3G mobile broadband network and the 4G network in Baltimore and other markets as WiMAX service becomes available.
According to Samsung Telecommunications America, Sprint is utilizing its mobile WiMAX network infrastructure in Baltimore and Sprint's Xohm business unit has also awarded the Dallas/Fort Worth market to be built using Samsung's infrastructure in preparation for commercial launch there in 2009.