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4G/3G/WiFi

Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck

CHICAGO -- WiMax World 2008 -- "Imagine a hotspot the size of a city." Apparently, it's easy if you try.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Atish Gude, senior vice president of Mobile Broadband Operations for Sprint's XOHM service used his keynote here Thursday morning to try the operator's new WiMax network marketing on for size. With XOHM's initial Baltimore market now launched, Gude didn't offer much detail beyond what he had already told Unstrung about potential future launches. (See Chicago WiMax Is 'Imminent'.)

The operator is still learning from Baltimore and will use that data to decide how it launches new markets. Gude says the WiMax service could launch in sequence in different cities or could get "bundled up" in a number of markets for a "big bang."

Sprint is now offering a range of billing options for WiMax that users can buy, or soon will be able to. The operator has everything from $10 day-passes to a limited $50 lifetime offer that will allow users to "pick any two devices" they wish to use on the network, which could include PC cards, desktops, and USB dongles. [Ed. note: And toasters? Any mention of toasters?]

Gude said that billing will continue to evolve as the network does.

He made no apologies, however, for Sprint maintaining the right to cap data usage if the XOHM network gets congested. An "acceptable use" clause, written into the Xohm subscriber agreement gives the company the right to limit data usage if it feels it must -- a decision that has attracted controversy across the blogosphere.

Gude said it's generally a small percentage of users -- less than 5 percent -- that suck down the most bandwidth and that Sprint would cap their usage when traffic is the heaviest on the XOHM network.

"Sometimes the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few. Every wireless network operator knows this," an unapologetic Gude declared.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

spc_isdnip 12/5/2012 | 3:30:23 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck This is a new service so it could be priced creatively, in order to preserve the essence of "neutrality" without costing too much. Use total volume levels as the key pricing metric, not speed. And don't worry about application-specific ToS. For instance, here's one possibility:

Home user plan 10: Aimed at light users with no other broadband service. 10 GB transfer/month for $35/month. Overage at $2/GB. 1/0.5 speed, but 3/1 speed for an extra $10.

Home user plan 30: Aimed at moderate users with no other broadband service. 30 GB transfer for $50/month. Overage at $1.50/GB. 1/0.5 speed but 3/1 speed for an extra $10.

Roamer plan: Aimed at users who have fixed broadband but sometimes roam (hot spot killer). 1/0.5 speed with 1 GB transfer for $15. Overage at $5/GB for the first 10 additional GB, $2/GB beyond. The roamer plan would be great for folks who do the big downloads at home but want to get mail, surf the web, etc. while away.

Those who want more than 30 GB/month should go to elsewhere; wireless is probably not economical for that.
gbmorrison 12/5/2012 | 3:30:23 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck I guess that's $50/month right? Personally I'll sign up for that and can live with the reasonable use clause. Signing up for a rate that has a data cap today I'll avoid like the plague!
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:30:22 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck $50 per month for life as long as you don't let payments lapse, limited time offer, they didn't say how long for, however. Not wild about the choice of devices yet myself.

DJ
sgan201 12/5/2012 | 3:30:18 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck
Dan,

What if you do not have to buy any device?? Aka, it comes embedded standard with your laptop like WiFi. At that point, what is your opinion then??

Dreamer
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:30:17 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck Well at the moment I'd call you a dreamer :-) I mean, sure, a laptop and a Nokia tablet would be be an interesting duo, but when will take happen? Probably 2009 sometime.
sgan201 12/5/2012 | 3:30:16 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck Dan,

If I am dreaming, this will be the killer combination:

A) WiMax comes free in each PC.

B) WiMax Femtocell built into each Cable set top box

C) WiMax chip set is so cheap that it is embedded XBox, PS2, Wii, PSP, DS

D) WiWax in each cars.

The question that you should ask is at which price / cost point, people will put WiWax embedded everywhere?? This will be a PARADIGM shift.

We never have a low cost Wide Area wireless option before.

Dreamer
gbmorrison 12/5/2012 | 3:30:15 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck I'll take most of it Dreamer but Femtocell cheap enough for every cable STB, I don't know...
sgan201 12/5/2012 | 3:30:13 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck gbmorrison,

Femtocell on setup box

It is a question of WHEN. Now, let me ask you what happen then to Mobile WiMax if all those stuff comes true??

It is a PARADIGM SHIFT. We NEVER have a Wireless Wide Area Access technology that has the capacity and low cost chip set to make it happen.

Dreamer
gbmorrison 12/5/2012 | 3:29:58 PM
re: Sprint's 50 Buck Chuck When? I'd say six years. At the earliest.
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