8:55 AM -- Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) officially -- and finally -- turned on the XOHM WiMax network in Baltimore today. (See Sprint Launches XOHM.)
The so-called 4G wireless broadband service will have average downlink speeds of between 2 Mbit/s and 4 Mbit/s. The first two available devices are the ZyXEL Communications Corp. modem for $79.99 and a Samsung Corp. PC data card for $59.99. Later this year expect to see a USB modem from ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), an Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) Centrino 2 WiMax notebook PC, and the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) N810 WiMax edition. (See Sprint Plots WiMax-Powered Location Services.)
There are three different service packages available, none of which is tied to long contract terms: a $10 Day pass, a $25 monthly home Internet service, and a $30 monthly on-the-go service. Or, subscribers can pick two WiMax devices for $50 per month.
Sprint aims to cover 15 million people by the end of this year. Sprint's XOHM isn’t the first commercial mobile WiMax network in the U.S., but it certainly will be the most watched and heavily scrutinized. (See Sprint Reaffirms WiMax Targets and Sprint Plots WiMax-Powered Location Services.)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung