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Summary:

[qi:045] Under siege from Wall Street investors, and facing competition from other potential wireless networks (700 MHz), Sprint Nextel (S) has a new-found appreciation for the need for openness. And its executives are taking every opportunity to extoll the virtues of open networks, especially xOHM. Rick […]

[qi:045] Under siege from Wall Street investors, and facing competition from other potential wireless networks (700 MHz), Sprint Nextel (S) has a new-found appreciation for the need for openness. And its executives are taking every opportunity to extoll the virtues of open networks, especially xOHM.

Rick Robinson, VP of products and services of xOhm, told attendees of the Play conference in Berkeley, Calif., that xOhm will tear down the walled gardens and do away with restricted access to the mobile Internet. “Xohm will tear down this wall. We will provide complete access to Internet from a WiMax enabled device,” he said.

Speaking at the CTIA conference in San Francisco last week, xOHM senior vice president, Atish Gude, highlighted the fact that operators deliver a smart network which allows open access to applications. Sprint provides the network elements — location, presence, security, quality of service, and bandwidth. The rest of the magic comes from device companies and app makers.

Now the same Mr. Gude, speaking at another conference back in January 2007, said, “Do you start with an open model, or start with a closed model and move to an open model?” He felt starting with a closed network might be a good way to get started.

A little competitive threat from the 700 MHz-based networks and barracking by Wall Street might have helped tilt the balance in favor of “more openness.” Not that there is anything wrong with being “open.”

The current problems at Sprint have nothing to do with their WiMAX plans, but instead are a result of a botched merger with Nextel and disparate and incompatible networking technologies. Sprint is not out of the woods, but if it can quickly showcase the promise of xOHM, it could buy itself time.

  1. Om,

    Completely unrelated, but of interest to you: Covad just got bought out by Platinum Equity. Any insider dirt on this transaction?

    http://www.covad.com/about/newsroom/pressroom/pr_2007/news_release_102907.pdf

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  2. I’m glad to see Sprint in the forefront of tomorrow’s technology. WiMax will reshape the landscape of many industries and it will all be riding on Sprints infrastructure. Brilliant!

    In a related note, Zipityzap is a new internet television subscription portal under development. It will change the landscape of the television industry by allowing content providers to reach consumers directly. Goodbye Comcast, Dish Network, etc.

    The technology is available today. We are currently seeking investors:
    http://zipityzap.com/OCT252007.htm

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  3. Glad Sprint is leading the final mile/WiMAX industry initiatives. Rick Robinson was a terrible speaker. Please, don’t send your most experienced personnel. Send your most articulate and enthusiastic.

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  4. SlickDealer, In speaking with >play reps, I know that Xohm’s speaker, Rick Robinson had strep throat, a high fever and inner ear infection, but still made the trek from the right coast to honor his panel participation. I would imagine that played a hand in your perception of his performance.

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  5. Actually, I thought he was quite good. It was helpful to hear from someone who’s literally working on the front lines of the wimax future. I’m looking forward to seeing Sprint’s Xohm…

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  6. Jesse Kopelman Monday, October 29, 2007

    Why aren’t you spelling it as xOhM? An pronouncing it with a silent x, for that matter? Never miss an opportunity for self promotion, I say.

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  7. I thought he carried the panel. Dunno about that name though. On their site the spell it “Xohm”. http://xohm.com/

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  8. [...] Speaking at the CTIA conference in San Francisco last week, xOHM senior vice president, Atish Gude, highlighted the fact that operators deliver a smart network which allows open access to applications. Sprint provides the network elements — location, presence, security, quality of service, and bandwidth. The rest of the magic comes from device companies and app makers. (from Gigaom) [...]

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  9. [...] quarter, and the continuing decline in revenues and subscribers might result in lower spending on its WiMAX efforts. Similarly, Clearwire is not growing fast enough to satisfy [...]

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  10. [...] its efforts on gaining back customers. We hope that they will follow through on their plans for an open WiMax network, but if all else fails, they can just sell out to [...]

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  11. [...] the notion of “open access,” with Apple promising to release its developer kit for the iPhone; Sprint Nextel launching its WiMAX business, XOHM; Verizon Wireless saying it will open up its network and platform; Google’s efforts around [...]

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  12. [...] Sprint was blessed with that opportunity in the launch of our WiMax business – Xohm, soon to be part of the new Clearwire. The Xohm business model was built from the ground up to deliver mobile freedom to customers and to third party developers. [...]

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