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Communications Wireless Networking Hardware

Sprint's Xohm WiMax Network Debuts In Baltimore, Works Well 86

Posted by timothy
from the will-it-reach-the-double-t-diner? dept.
bsk_cw writes "Sprint's newly launched Xohm service is now offering America's first WiMax network. Computerworld's Brian Nadel went to Baltimore to try it out, and he reports that Xohm delivered data smoothly to a car moving at highway speeds, played YouTube videos flawlessly, and on average, pushed through more than 3Mbit/sec., compared with 1.3 Mbit/sec. for the AT&T network Brian used as a comparison. But right now, coverage is only planned in a few US cities; if Sprint isn't able to ramp up its coverage quickly, it may lose its advantage."
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Sprint's Xohm WiMax Network Debuts In Baltimore, Works Well

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  • by frieko (855745) on Friday October 10, 2008 @11:10PM (#25336413)
    AFAIK WiMax supports a cellular configuration. They can start out with widely spaced towers, and wherever they have too many people connecting they fill in more towers. Just like cell phones. That or they can just buy a wider swath of spectrum, although it's a precious commodity these days.
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public.mac@com> on Friday October 10, 2008 @11:50PM (#25336681)

    Clearwire deployed a proprietary broadband wireless access network based on Nextnet's technology [cnn.com]. Nextnet was later bought by Motorola, who is a major infrastructure vendor for WiMAX, and Clearwire, as part of their merger with Sprint Xohm, will be switching to WiMAX.

    WiMAX has two major variants: those based on the IEEE 802.16-2004 standard (called 16d or fixed WiMAX) and those based on the newer IEEE 802.16e-2005 (called 16e or mobile WiMAX) standard. There have been some small, limited build-outs of 16d, but 16e is destined to be much bigger, and that's why this is a big deal.

    Sprint has been the primary backer of 16e because they acquired a lot of 2.5 GHz unpaired spectrum from their Nextel acquisition. With the launch of Sprint's Baltimore network, they've proven that a large, citywide network can deliver on the promises of WiMAX. This is a huge step forward for mobile broadband wireless access.

  • by bigman2003 (671309) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:21AM (#25336807) Homepage

    I'd rather pull my car over to the nearest 7-11, and use a pay phone to connect to the Internet through a 300 baud acoustic modem than get 3mbps through a Sprint product.

    I made the HUGE mistake of switching to Sprint 18 months ago. I've regretted it ever since. Their customer service is 100% atrocious. Their policies are horrible (and deemed illegal in California*).

    Sending photos to another cell phone is ridiculous (via e-mail?!?! WTF? Tons of phones are capable of receiving SMS with media, but not nearly as many can receive e-mail)

    The phone selection is crap. The website sucks. (Anyone who has an account there can attest to that...how many times do I need to log in just to view my bill, like 3?)

    Generally, every single thing I have to say about Sprint is that the company is bad. I switched from AT&T because I had the impression that they sucked. But on the scale of suck, AT&T is like a peck on the cheek compared to the 24 hour airport bathroom glory hole that is Sprint.

    **** The illegal part: My daughter had 3 phone through Sprint, she canceled 2 of them 2 months prior to her contract ending. These phones cost $9.99 each per month. Sprint charged a $400 early termination fee, even though they would have only received $40 in service fees...that is what has been deemed illegal- the fee is punitive. (Fee doesn't just cover costs, it punishes the consumer)

  • by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:32AM (#25336863) Homepage

    While wireless broadband is cool, I'm not convinced yet... With wireless everyone in connected to the same base station shares the available spectrum and bandwith. There's no way around that, ever.

    I like 3G (live in Helsinki). I can open up Google Maps or check when the next bus leaves on my mobile. But for anything more serious I prefer a short range wireless tech (WiFi) or good old RJ45.

    So will these technologies work well with hundreds of simultaneous users? Personally I still think there's a long way to go for radio tech to completely replace wires on the last mile.

  • by rabbit994 (686936) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @02:24AM (#25337383)

    DSL and Cable work by providing a continuing stream of packets. Cell phone networks can't offer that though so there is times where they may delay delivery for 200MS or so while tower is busy doing something else before delivering all your data to you in on massive chunk. Mbit/s isn't only measure of network connection.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 11, 2008 @05:57AM (#25338187)

    I'm looking forward to the day when multiple implementations of WiMax are available and the interoperability issues start showing up...

    I wouldn't count on that, as most operators are going with LTE [wikipedia.org], not WiMax.

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