September 30, 2016
WiMax has arrived in the US, with telecoms company Sprint unveiling the price plan for its next generation XOHM WiMax service.
Although WiMax is already available in some areas of the US, Sprint is the first service to make WiMax laptop modems available.
Baltimore, on the east coast of the US, will be the first city in the country to be offered WiMax access, to be followed by Washington and Chicago.
Customers signing up for WiMax connectivity will pay $25 per month for connection at home, or $30 for mobile connectivity.
Signing up to both services will set users back $50 per month, whilst one day connection passes will also be available for $10.
Equipment to connect to the network will cost extra, with WiMax laptop cards priced at $60, and home modems $80.
Laptops and mobile phones with WiMax connectivity are expected to be released later this year.
Compared to mainstream mobile broadband, WiMax offers faster download speeds, and is cheaper to set up.
Sprint’s Xohm network provides downloads at 2-4 megabits per second, more than two times faster than 3G mobile broadband.
In addition, Sprint will not require customers to sign up to lengthy, binding contracts, and it hopes that freeing customers from long-term subsidised plans will be a strong selling point for its service.
Despite its clear advantages in terms of price and speed, the Xohm network has not arrived without its critics.
Apple-lovers have been frustrated to read the small print and discover that Sprint’s laptop cards are not Mac compatible.
Meanwhile, bandwidth will be limited for bandwidth intensive applications such as file sharing.
Sprint says managing the traffic of heavy users helps it provide a better service for everyone, but critics say that the policy goes against US legislation on open and free internet access that prevents providers from deliberately slowing down services.