Leaky WiMax

In an article today on WiMax Trends Newsletter, there was a website leak from Clearwire’s website discovered by a reader from Engadget Mobile on the Xohm WiMax devices. According to the article, the devices are:
Nokia’s N810 WiMAX Edition.
XOHM USB (ZTE’s TU25) modem.
XOHM Express Card (Samsung’s SWC-E100) modem with optional PCMCIA adapter.
XOHM Modem (ZyXel’s MAX-206M2) Ethernet hub / router with optional 4-hour battery, but XOHM will not offer static IP addresses at this time.
The XOHM portal supports both Windows and OS X. That said, the modems listed above and Sprint’s XOHM Connection Manager software are PC-only, so, tough luck for Mac owners it looks like.
Now, THIS just makes a lot of sense to me (albeit not sure about the N810 WiMax Edition)! As was the case with WiFi, somewhat still the case with 3G (but moving fast to embedded, though not free or commodity such as WiFi), new radio access interfaces to devices go through their infancy of PCMCIA, USB, ExpressCard, or other form of external radio link adaptation before making their way into the devices. For the device OEMs (though Nokia seems to think otherwise), it’s an expensive and speculative proposition of burdening the BOM with new, unproven (both technology and business models/ROI) radio interfaces. This way us users get to kick the tires on the service, pricing, mobility, whatever new features are offered, etc. Service providers get to kick the tires of their network planning, billing, subscriber management and support, etc., etc. And device OEMs just get to watch from the sidelines until they decide to either join the “attachment” bandwagon or begin to embed the radio technologies in their respective devices according to their respective pain thresholds of technology and business model adoption.
The Nokia N810 experiment should be interesting, especially given that WiMax is, for all intents and purposes, a one-trick pony in the US as opposed to many other countries where there are multiple operators (incumbent or greenfield) trialing or rolling out WiMax networks. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for some semblance of a killer value proposition and matching profits from Clearwire and their WiMax rollouts.


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