WiMax, Take Two

Back in February of 2009, I attempted and failed to sign up for Xohm, Sprint’s WiMax service. My overall experience led me to believe that the service wasn’t quite ready to be launched — coverage in Baltimore wasn’t all that widespread, and the Mac support was entirely given over to their developer network, in a lame attempt to get other people to do the work they should have done before launching. I returned the modem I’d bought, griped about the experience online, and soon thereafter Xohm disappeared from view.

It turns out that a company called Clearwire had bought Xohm from Sprint, and they stopped taking new subscribers while they did things like expanding the network and making sure the software and hardware was compatible with the Mac OS. How sensible. They also eliminated the need to install any software on your computer in order to use the service (Xohm required some crazy widget/app thing, for no apparent reason). The pricing for the service, now called Clear, is still smack in my price range ($30 or $40) for basic home service. It’s a little more for a subscription that works with a USB modem that you can take with you anywhere, and you can also bundle voice with any of the plans. One especially nice touch is that you have a choice of a two-year contract and leasing the modem, or a month-to-month contract for which you buy the modem outright. I went with the latter, because if I’m going to wind up paying for the modem anyway, I might as well do it up front and not have to deal with a contract. Continue reading

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