Sprint Launches Xohm WiMax Network in Baltimore

Sprint Nextel launched its mobile Wimax broadband network in the city of Baltimore on Monday.

Xohm (pronounced "zome") will offer download speeds of between 2M bps (bits per second) and 4M bps, with prices starting at US$30 a month for mobile users, the company said.

Other plans include a one-day pass at $10, a home Internet option at $25 a month, and a "Pick 2 for Life" introductory offer that allows two devices to access the network for $50 a month. Customers won't have to sign a long-term contract.

Sprint will sell the necessary WiMax modems through the Xohm Web site and local independent retail stores. The Samsung Express costs $59.99 and the Zyxel model $79.99.

The company plans to introduce another modem from Chinese manufacturer ZTE later this year, and also expects to see notebook PCs and a wireless Internet tablet from Nokia with WiMax modems built in. Sprint also plans to sell a dual-mode wireless modem capable of connecting to the WiMax network and to its existing 3G (third-generation) mobile phone network.

Sprint is in the process of combining its Xohm WiMax business with Clearwire, and plans to form a new company in the fourth quarter, also to be called Clearwire. That company intends to build a nationwide WiMax network on which Sprint will resell airtime as a virtual mobile operator.

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