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Sprint Launches its Initial WiMAX Service

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Sprint Nextel has at last, commercially launched its WiMAX network currently branded as XOHM in Baltimore. The data centric network has been launched with average download speeds of 2 4 Mbps.

The service is being launched without any form of contract, and there will be a single monthly charge covers service for multiple WiMAX access devices. Customers can pay for either monthly home, on-the-go and day-pass Internet plans.

Starting today, customers can purchase XOHM-branded Samsung Express air cards for $59.99 and ZyXEL modems for $79.99 via XOHM web, telesales or select Baltimore-area independent retailers. Additional WiMAX devices such as a ZTE USB modem, Intel Centrino 2 WiMAX notebook PCs and the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition are expected in market later this year.

At launch, mobile WiMAX service plans include a $10 Day pass, $25 monthly Home Internet service and $30 monthly On-the-go service.

Sprint says that it is also planning a dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX device - due for release later this year.

The XOHM WiMAX network utilizes the 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings that were combined in the Sprint and Nextel merger. XOHM uses WiMAX infrastructure developed by Samsung Electronics and has worked with them in deployment and buildout of the Baltimore-area WiMAX network. Additional markets are in various stages of infrastructure development for commercial readiness.

As announced earlier this year, Sprint expects to complete the anticipated combination of its XOHM WiMAX business assets with Clearwire to form a new company in the fourth quarter. This new company, to be called Clearwire, will continue to expedite the deployment of a nationwide mobile WiMAX network. Following the transaction, Sprint will continue to sell WiMAX services through an MVNO structure with the new Clearwire.

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