The eastern port of Baltimore on Sept. 29 became the first major city in the United States to be blanketed with a wireless broadband network that uses next-generation mobile WiMAX technology, AFP reports. U.S. telecom provider Sprint Nextel Corp. announced the start of the WiMAX service, known as XOHM, which allows computers to access the internet wirelessly at faster speeds and with a wider reach than Wi-Fi technology. WiMAX quickly moves large amounts of digital data such as video or picture files long distances, as compared to Wi-Fi connections available in cyber cafes or other "hot spots" where signals reach a few hundred yards or less, and all eyes will be on Baltimore’s deployment of the technology to see how it works. XOHM subscribers can use WiMAX from home on their personal computers, but also on their laptops with special air cards and modems. Sprint said it was offering WiMAX service plans starting with a $10 day pass, a $25 monthly home internet service, and a $30-a-month "on-the-go" service.
It said its WiMAX service offers average downlink speeds of two to four megabits per second, faster than that of most 3G wireless networks. Backers of WiMAX have called it "Wi-Fi on steroids" and claim it could eventually render cable or phone-line internet access obsolete…
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