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XOHM Launches!

I'm in Baltimore for a grand total of 48 hours in between business trips... Just long enough to see the launch of XOHM, Sprint's new WiMAX network. (I was in Kyiv last week - the ad below was on the front page of the WSJE.)

Call it 4G or "mobile broadband" (I've been pushing for "MoBro," but so far, no takers...), this new digital ecosystem is promising lots. It's up, it's working, and it'll hopefully be the beginning of WiMAX expansion around the U.S.

Why does WiMAX matter? For one, it'll mean that I'm connected without interruption - and that in theory, I won't have to hop around networks to stay online. I can start reading a website on my mobile phone while I'm at home, keep reading while I'm on Amtrak headed to a meeting, then switch to YouTube once I get there to show a client a video, then click over to Pandora to listen to music on the way back... And WiMAX promises very fast speeds.

For journalists, WiMAX means ubiquitous reporting and multimedia production possibilities. For consumers, WiMAX enables continual viewing of multiple websites, downloading all sorts of content, and really exploiting GPS services.

To be fair, you need a device that has the right gear in it to hop on the network. We've had minivans plastered with Intel advertisements driving around the city for weeks - and of course, the new Intel notebooks are already WiMAX/ Wi-Fi enabled. You also have to buy the XOHM modem or one of the wireless notebook cards.

Now as stoked as I am about our local network and about XOHM's possibilities, I've not yet had the chance to try it. I'd hoped to get into a small group of testers - but I apparently didn't pass muster with Sprint's crack marketing team...

Read the press release here. More general info about XOHM here. And here's an interview with some local folks via NPR affiliate WAMU.




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