WiMAX arrives early with no bandwidth caps, competitive pricing


XohmlogoI guess that press event I’m attending in Baltimore next week just lost a little lustre. Sprint launched the XOHM commercial WiMAX in Baltimore today instead of waiting for us to gather as the wireless ribbon is cut. No worries: as late as XOHM’s WiMAX offering has been, it’s nice to see Sprint gain traction early at least once.So the big question I had at the beginning of the year was around pricing for the wireless broadband service. I figured it would undercut current 3G options and generally go for around $40 to $50 a month. Here’s how it shakes out:

  • As expected, there are no contract commitments
  • A day pass is $10, which is cheaper that some hotels that offer WiFi and of course doesn’t tie you to a hotel room… provided you want to work in the limited service area of Baltimore for the moment.
  • $25 gets you WiMAX in your home. Essentially, you’d dump your Cable, DSL or FiOS in favor if wireless Internet access to your home, which you can then route out and share via WiFi. This is a compelling price when compared to other Internet Service Plans on the market, but many, like Cable and FiOS offer far faster speeds than the 2- to 4-Mbps of WiMAX.
  • $30 a month provides wireless service to any device that supports it. That would include WiMAX data cards, the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet (the one that supports WiMAX, not the standard one) and the expected notebooks that will offer Intel’s Echo Peak solution.
  • A $50-per-month launch special might be appealing: pick two devices for WiMAX with the “Pick 2 for life” option.

So pricing is good, what about usage and data caps? There are no data caps and this should put some pressure on the 3G carriers to tweak their offerings both in terms of price and bandwidth restrictions. Sounds good to me… not good enough to move to Baltimore, but my backyard of Philadelphia should be upcoming soon.



According to Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/5056447/sprints-xohm-wimax-will-neuter-heavy-downloaders), heavy downloaders will be neutered:

“To ensure a high-quality experience for its entire subscriber base, XOHM may use various tools and techniques designed to limit the bandwidth available for certain bandwidth intensive applications or protocols, such as file sharing.”

From the sounds of it, Skype and other flavors of VoIP may be targeted as well.


Ryan Sutton

the ‘day pass’ idea is intriguing, I would like to see a $10 day pass for GSM 3G, and maybe $30 for a week. Would be nice for traveling.

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