Sprint made it official today, and launched their Xohm WiMAX service in Baltimore, MD. The “official” Xohm launch takes place on October 8th, but the Xohm website is taking orders now. Xohm is positioning the wireless service as an alternative to DSL and cable modem, but is very coy about exactly what speeds they are offering – “XOHM is expected to provide average connection speeds comparable to or better than basic DSL and Cable internet service.” Xohm goes on to say that those “averages” equate to “786 kbps download speeds for DSL and 1.5 mbps download speeds for cable.” Here is the pricing breakdown:
- Home Broadband Service – $35/month, with a six month $25/month promotion, providing a DSL/cable modem replacement type service. Requires a $79.99 modem.
- On-the-Go Service – $45/month, with a six month $30/month promotion, providing wireless broadband service through laptop cards, comparable to existing 3G services from Verizon, AT&T, etc, but slightly improved in broadband performance. Requires a $59.99 laptop card/modem.
- Daily On-the-Go – same as above, but for a daily rate of $10/day
- Pick 2 – allows the use of two WiMAX devices on the network for $65/month, but is offering a $50/month for life promotion. Customers could have both their home and mobile broadband needs met with this single plan. Requires the purchase of the appropriate equipment.
The world of 4G wireless and the competition it empowers is upon us. It’s obviously real early. Very limited deployments, combined with limited availability of devices will not contribute to setting the market on “competitive fire.” But it’s a start – one worth watching.
If the issue of 3G and 4G wireless is of interest, I encourage you to register for an upcoming September 30, 2008 free webcast that Pivot Media is producing – 3G: Launching Toward 4G. We will be outlining the market landscape for 3G today and 4G tomorrow.