Thismorning Sprint launched its long-awaited commercially-available Xohm service in
Market. Xohm is Sprint's brand for its WiMax service, which follows the 802.16e standard.
Some of its most attractive attributes include:
- No contract. Customers who purchase the service and the modem may use it as often, or as little as they want, for as long or as short as they want.
- Low monthly recurring price of the service ($25 home use, $30 untethered) especially encourages experimentation by customers who generally prefer to try before they buy.
Some obvious limitations:
- Smaller than anticipated initial market. By limiting Xohm to a single metro area, Sprint essentially is fulfilling the letter of its earlier commitment, but not the spirit. The company may say that future markets are in the hands of the (to be formed) new Clearwire, but it’s a major owner of the new company and certainly shapes much of it future direction;
Certainly Sprint’s detractors will say that Sprint’s 2G/3G subscriber losses, and the cash flow problems they create, essentially drained it of the ability to fulfill its commitment to bringing up all of the BAWA corridor on initial launch. Such claims would be entirely plausible.
- Very limited number of devices. Following the point just raised, by limiting the initial market launch, one can realistically limit ancillary initial investment activities, like modem choice.
- Low initial price. Given very limited market
availability, this makes sense (low service price, low modem price).We don’t anticipate prices will remain this low should service availability rapidly expand—especially for prices for multimode devices, or for services that have significantly wider geographic availability (or greater functionality). Customers should not infer anything about future price based on Baltimore’s launch.
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