XOHM WiMax in Baltimore

Sprint’s next generation (4G) network XOHM WiMax Broadband network claims they are set out to revolutionize the way we connect by allowing the same kind of connection at home and on the go.  I don’t believe they are too far off from this claim.  However, I would hold out on the mobile devices until the 3G and 4G devices are available so it will be possible to connect in other cities where XOHM is not available yet, from the Press Release:

Sprint will be the first and only wireless carrier to launch a dual-mode 3G – 4G access device expected later in the fourth quarter. This device will extend Sprint’s mobile broadband leadership by offering the power of the NOW network — the largest 3G data network in the U.S. — with the fastest data speeds among all national carriers available on this new 4G network in Baltimore and in future markets.

I recently saw the XOHM kiosk’s at the Fells Point Fun Festival in Baltimore and briefly played with the Nokia 810 connected to the WiMax network.  It worked as expected and browsed to all the pages I went to with out delay.  I wish I could justify the cost for one of the Nokia 810s.  I overheard one of the guys working the stand talking about the speed tests they had been trying on the laptops all day.  From what I heard he said some have been slower than advertised and some have been decently faster than the stated, “We define High Performance level as average 2 – 4 Mbps download speed and 0.5 – 1.5 Mbps upload speed.”

I did not really think about it being a possibility of using this service until I received my recent cable bill and saw my promotional offer of $33/month for a year from Comcast has expired.  It has been raised to $42.95/month.  This is on the border of being too much to pay for internet, even with an advertised 6Mbps+ down.  (I’ve actually been averaging 10Mbps with DSL Reports speed tests.)  XOHM is offering a special until 12/31/2008 for $50/month for 2 devices for the lifetime of the account.  Baltimore, MD XOHM CoverageThis means that it is possible to get a wireless modem to plug into an existing wireless network and an express or usb card for a laptop connection for $50/month!  The individual options are not as good of a deal at $25/month for 6 months and $35/month thereafter for the Home connection.  While, the mobile option by itself is $30/month for 6 months and then $45/month afterward.

I could justify the $7.05 more a month to have a mobile broadband card to use in Baltimore (soon to be in more cities and eventually with 3G networks). The coverage area is currently strong where I live, but does not exist where I work.  I would imagine I could use the mobile broadband card at home and get 2 – 4 Mbps down and 0.5 – 1.5 Mbps up on the laptop  and on the modem connected to the network.  Definitely an intriguing offer to think about.

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