XOHM WiMAX Launches in Baltimore; Will a New Type of Cord-Cutter Emerge?

The focus here is on wireless Internet access, but home service is offered too. Here are the breakdowns:

Home: $25 per month for six months, $35 thereafter. Twenty-five dollars is a steal, and even $35 is pretty aggressive, particularly for a standalone service (that is, not bundled with voice like DSL or TV like cable modem service). Must purchase a (Krups-inspired) WiMAX modem for $80.

On-the-Go: $30 per month for six months, $45 thereafter. Must purchase a data card, or forthcoming WiMAX-enabled laptop or other device.

Daily On-the-Go: $10 per day, for use with WiMAX data card, laptop or device.

Pick 2: $50 for six months, $65 thereafter. Connect two WiMAX devices, which could include the WiMAX modem for home use and a data card for mobile use. This of course raises the question as to how strong the WiMAX signal is indoors, such that a separate WiMAX modem would be necessary if you activated a data card.

XOHM calls itself "a wireless alternative to basic DSL and Cable internet service," offering download speeds of between 2 and 4 Mbps, and upload speeds of .5 to 1.5 Mbps, yet performance and coverage are not guaranteed. Compared with other mobile data services, that's pretty quick, yet those speeds are pretty utilitarian when considered as a fixed broadband substitute, particularly as BSPs have been upgrading their networks to deliver ever-faster broadband speeds.

Still, some may find the value of mobility to trump the quality. Think of the millions of wireless-only consumers out there who have dumped landlines in favor of exclusive cell phone use, despite the comparatively horrendous quality. For cord cutters, a fixed landline offers poor value because it is, um, fixed, whereas a cell phone can be used at home and away. The same principle could apply for a WiMAX connection, depending on the coverage issue.

Interesting side note: The modem has two RJ-11 analog VoIP ATA ports, which are designated as "inactive, for future use." Someone in the multi-headed XOHM organization must not find cord-cutters to be the target market...