Beyond being Aubrey Huff’s favorite town in the world, Baltimore will another claim to fame beginning next month. If all goes according to plan it looks like Sprint will stay true to its recent claim as it prepares to unleash its long anticipated XOHM service next month. Sprint has named Baltimore as the preliminary launch point while Chicago and Washington DC shouldn’t be far behind with launches sometime in Q4 2008. Mmm, 4G. We know what you’re thinking, “boy who cried wolf”. Still, we can’t fault Sprint entirely for the delays as you well know. Seeing as Location-based Services (LBS) are all the rage these days and considering that we’ve all been waiting for WiMAX for quite some time now, Sprint is shifting the focus a bit as it attempts to build anticipation once again.
With Internet access you could go to each vendor now as a separate interaction; but with XOHM, the services are aggregated into a service package that correlates them due to the intelligence in the network; for example, plotting friend locations on a map, identifying a restaurant or entertainment venue from local search, and sharing plans to convene with the benefit of weather, traffic or ticket-purchase convenience.
Beyond the Nokia N810 that has been eagerly awaiting some WiMAX love for a while now, Sprint is working with a number of manufacturers on devices ranging from laptop cards to handhelds and other portable devices. Pricing has still not been announced but Sprint spokesperson John Polivka did have this to say:
XOHM subscribers arrange a subscription, not a contract, and open an account … then go to a portal which contains the bundled WiMAX services/applications. A new WiMAX-capable device is needed.
There will be day passes, home and away plans, and the ability to have multiple devices under one agreement, versus the telecom model where each device is a separate contract.