XOHM to Launch with Location Services

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Sprint’s WiMAX service, Xohm will partner with location-based content providers including uLocate Communications, AccuWeather, Navteq and other services, said Art Spivy, director of content and community services for Xohm. GPS in the XOHM system continually updates the user’s position and feeds it to back-end applications, a feature implemented by California-based Open Wave.

Location based content on Xohm will include:

  • uLocate, the primary partner in building XOHM’s location enabled mobile experience, is providing its WHERE platform and Buddy Beacon. Through WHERE, XOHM users will have access to local information including restaurant reviews, news, events, weather and much more. By the end of the year, Sprint also hopes to integrate uLocate’s Buddy Beacon friend-finding service. Sprint will discover subscribers’ locations using information from its WiMax base stations.
  • Yelp, the leading Web site for local business reviews, provides relevant user reviews and ratings for anything local, from restaurants to doctors and more. The reviews can be searched and sorted by category or shown in a map view, with access to Yelp.com for details on any of the three million local reviews.
  • Eventful will provide users with listings of local events displayed in a map view. Customers can select sub-categories of interest, search for events and click through to Eventful.com to get more event information and purchase tickets.
  • Topix will provide local news based on current location as a summary, with an option to read full stories and others at its site.
  • NAVTEQ will offer XOHM customers NAVTEQ Traffic™ real-time local traffic and commuter updates with links to the Traffic.com® Web site for additional detailed construction, incident and drive time information.
  • AccuWeather will provide three-day forecasts based on users’ current locations. An easy link to AccuWeather.com mobile Web site gives more forecast details, radar/satellite images, and more.
  • Google will contribute industry-leading Local Search capability along with additional features and functionality from Google Maps.
  • Openwave Systems will provide the location platform that enables XOHM partners to use location to provide valuable services.
  • Autodesk will provide a standards-based interface and geospatial services, such as addresses, ZIP code and city/state information, to enhance location within the XOHM network.

Xohm will be a data-oriented service that users will access on devices sold by manufacturers at retail rather than by the carrier, notes Infoworld. Client devices are expected to start with laptop cards and eventually include MIDs, personal entertainment devices and other platforms.

The service is set to launch in September in Baltimore, with Washington D.C. and Chicago in the fourth quarter while other cities including Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Providence, R.I., are expected to launch next year.

The location-based content will be presented on a Xohm Web portal and will change as a subscriber moves from one place to another. Subscribers will also be able to personalize the portal to offer information on the kinds of things they want. But they won’t be forced to use that portal as a home page.

“We’re not trying to replace AOL’s or Yahoo’s portal,” Spivy said. “We’re really trying to be a great start experience for your mobile session.”

Ben Wolff, Clearwire CEO, envisions a “palette of options”, reports Forbes, including day rates and the ability to use multiple devices on the same account without being charged multiple times. Clearwire will also offer “bundles” of services, including residential broadband and voice, mobile broadband and voice and mobile video/entertainment.

This fall, Clearwire will hold WiMax demonstrations in Portland for analysts, reporters and other interested parties and will also have a presence at the wireless industry’s big fall conference, CTIA, in San Francisco, mid-September.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 7:47 am .

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