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Communications Wireless Networking Hardware

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

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 cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @10:54PM (#25335889) Homepage

    Sure, you can deliver 3Mb/sec wirelessly. But can you deliver 30,000Mb/sec?

    See, the problem is that what I (and a good portion of the tech-using community) would like is to be able to access this bandwidth on demand, anywhere. Do you believe there would be 10,000 users in a wingle WiMax coverage area? If so, they are going to need 30,000Mb/sec to keep everyone working at this speed.

    Microcells work for cell phones, but the rules are different.

  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Friday October 10, 2008 @11:17PM (#25336051)
    So why will Sprint "lose its advantage" if it doesn't ramp up quickly? Seriously, is ATT or Comcast on the verge of offering some great new service that's going to make WiMax obsolete? Is there some competitor to Sprint that is going to build out first? I would love it if either of those possibilities were true, but the truth is that these companies are exceedingly conservative and slow to upgrade. Sprint could take the next decade doing a nationwide roll-out and probably not lose too much market share.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:11AM (#25336429) Journal
    I suspect that that statement is largely the "OMG CONSTANTURGENCY!!!" flavor that people seem disturbingly enamored of; but not entirely.

    The likely competition comes, not from some other WiMax buildout; but from other cellular data services. Most are inferior to Sprint's offering in terms of price, longterm contracts, and in many cases speed; but computers and phones with the necessary hardware built in are pretty common, and you can get at least dialup speeds virtually everywhere(yes, I know, there are exceptions and you live in one). Anybody outside of Sprint's coverage area will be buying these, if they care about mobile internet at all. The more non-WiMax cellular modems that end up embedded in laptops and whatnot, the worse for Sprint, since "Plug this dongle into your laptop for mobile broadband" is a much easier sell to somebody who doesn't already have an internal cellular modem. Even within Sprint's coverage area, the other cellular providers can respond by lowering prices, or playing up the roaming abilities of their stuff.

    None of this is fatal, but I do think that Sprint will have a harder time if it tries to play simple local ISP with WiMax for too long; it runs the risk of being squeezed between inferior data services with superior mobility on one side(cellular modems) and superior data services with inferior mobility(hardwired ISPs and wifi) on the other, which could be uncomfortable.
  • by ahow628 ( 1290052 ) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:31AM (#25336557) Homepage
    Clearwire is WiMax, right? How is it not America's first WiMax network? I'm so confused...
  • by klapaucjusz ( 1167407 ) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @12:47AM (#25336659) Homepage

    I've browsed through the WiMax standards, and they almost make ATM look elegant. A connection-base technology with no less than three incompatible encapsulations. Disconnected operation is simulated by establishing connections to a back-end server and running bridging software there.

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

  • by AmberBlackCat ( 829689 ) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @10:30AM (#25339117)
    Do you happen to work for Comcast?

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.