Despite its delays launching its Xohm 4G mobile WiMAX network, Sprint has not been idle. The carrier said this morning it would work with a variety of businesses to bring location-based services to the Xohm network when it launches in September. It sounds neat, and the partners listed below could make for a good location-based services experience, but right now mobile WiMAX is a data card strategy without handsets.
That makes location more of gimmicky feature for browsing on your laptop than the awesome-to-have feature on your mobile phone. However, it’s well in line with recent attempts to add location to browsing through Yahoo’s Fire Eagle platform, or older attempts with the use of Skyhook’s Loki software. If Sprint’s open network strategy for Xohm attracts other devices such as personal navigation systems, this could become a more interesting offering, and lead to products as cool as the Dash Express.These features will carry over once the joint venture between Sprint and Clearwire for nationwide WiMAX gets going at the end of the year. Below the fold are the names of companies adding location to the Xohm network.
uLocate Communications Inc.: Will provide its Where platform and friend-finding application Buddy Beacon to connect Xohm customers with their favorite people, places and things.
Yelp Inc.: Will provide local business reviews and ratings for anything local, from restaurants to doctors and more. The reviews can be searched and sorted by category or shown in a map view, with access to Yelp.com for details on any of the three million local reviews.
Eventful Inc.: Will provide users with listings of local events displayed in a map view. Customers can select sub-categories of interest, search for events and click through to Eventful.com to get more event information and purchase tickets.
Topix LLC: Will provide local news based on current location as a summary, with an option to read full stories.
NAVTEQ: Will offer Xohm customers real-time local traffic and commuter updates with links to the Traffic.com site for additional detailed construction, incident and drive time information.
AccuWeather: Will provide three-day forecasts based on users’ current locations. An easy link to AccuWeather.com mobile web site gives more forecast details, radar/satellite images and more.
Google Inc.: Contributes local search capability along with additional features and functionality from Google Maps.
Openwave Systems Inc.: Will provide the location platform that enables Xohm partners to use location to provide services.
Autodesk Inc.: Will provide a standards-based interface and geospatial services, such as addresses, ZIP code and city/state information, to enhance location within the Xohm network.
image of the Nokia n810 which Sprint will launch on the Xohm network