Xohm’s internal corporate champion at Sprint, Barry West, is indicating its on course for Xohm, announcing a commercial launch timeframe of April 2008. West made these comments at CES on a WiMAX focused panel. There has been so much speculation about the future of Xohm that I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if Sprint pulled the plug on it. They still could. But for now, West says they are moving forward. There were a flurry of announcements at CES by Sprint about Xohm, including business partner agreements with Amdocs, SwapDrive, and McAfee. West says they will be offering multiple subscription options, including daily, monthly, an annually. Unlike traditional wireless plans, Xohm will not subsidize the cost of WiMAX devices.
I for one am very anxious to see how Xohm and other WiMAX operations impact the competitive landscape. Xohm will most certainly be marketed as an alternative to DSL and cable modem, much the same way Clearwire does today. When you add the mobility feature, it makes the WiMAX broadband option quite compelling. It will certainly add fuel to the fire of broadband speed “inflation,” as wireline carriers will most likely defend their turf by raising average wireline broadband speeds much higher than can be achieved wirelessly. A company like Xohm, with its potentially massive equipment purchasing scale, will also help lower the barrier costs for other, smaller WiMAX service providers. The result could empower many more additional WiMAX service providers, impacting the competitive environment even more. Look for the real impact to be noticed in 2009 or so. Stay tuned.