updated 03:30 pm EST, Wed December 5, 2007
Sprint Xohm in Days
Sprint's heavily anticipated Xohm WiMAX Internet service will see its first practical service within days, states the company's VP of product management, Bin Shen. The fourth-generation wireless will be used by trial members in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington D.C. with the intent of proving the viability of the service before it becomes widely available in spring 2008. Initial users of the connection's multi-megabit speeds will primarily use add-in PC cards to access the network.
The news brings more concrete plans for the full-scale launch next year, Sprint says. Several notebooks with the Intel WiMAX chipset built-in will be available when the service is active. Sometime later, phones which operate both on Sprint's normal CDMA calling network and the WiMAX network will also be available. Rates and precise hardware details are unavailable, though Nokia pledges a tablet in the vein of the N810 around the Xohm launch period.
If true, the report partially settles doubts about the future of the WiMAX network, which has been shaken by a split between Sprint and partner Clearwire as well as the forced departure of chief executive and WiMAX backer Gary Forsee. The company has allegedly considered spinning off the 4G connection to refocus on its cellular business.