Xohm Marks the Spot

Xohm officially celebrates their September launch in Baltimore, on October 8th. Their WiMax network was demoed last week, sending 2Mbps to 4Mbps downstream to moving vehicles, among other things. The Xohm Blog gathers WiMAX fanboys and girls.

Several leading PC OEMs announced plans to deliver Centrino® 2-based notebooks with WiMAX including Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Toshiba. Later this month, Nokia’s N810 WiMAX tablet will be available.

XOHM’s WiMAX USB modem (right) is based on Beceem’s BCS200 chipset while Sequans chipsets power many other client devices such as XOHM’s Zytel home modem. Motorola has an investment in Sequans. Motorola clients will likely be featured in Clearwire service areas.

Intel is now shipping its combined WiMAX/Wi-Fi module, formerly code-named “Echo Peak”. The WiMax chip should add about $60 to the price of a laptop and generally embeds three antennas in the lid for improved WiMAX (and 802.11n Wi-Fi) reception.

Two versions of “Echo Peak” are available: 1×2 and 3×3 MIMO configurations. A 1×2 configuration in the 5150 (Echo Peak) module means one antenna is used for uploading, while two are used for downloading. Three antennas are utilized with the 5350 Echo Peak module for faster speed with longer range (but requiring more power).

Kevin Tofel at JK On the Run ran a speed test (right) on a Lenovo X301 with integrated WiMAX, and got 3.4Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up.

Beginning Oct 8th, WiMAX-based Intel notebooks can be found online at Amazon.com and NewEgg.com. In addition, Dell, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony plan to support WiMAX in their laptops starting in 2009. WiMAX is a major component in Intel’s goal to shift the industry and consumers to a “mobile Internet.”

Some of the first products to get Intel’s embedded WiMAX chip include:

  • Lenovo Thinkpad X301, the Thinkpad T400, and two of its small business laptops—the Thinkpad SL300 and SL500. Later this year, its WiMAX lineup will include other models like the Thinkpad W500, the W700, the SL400, the X200, and the Ideapad Y530 laptops.
  • Asus has also announced three products that are equipped with WiMAX cards. The F8Va-C2WM includes the company’s Infusion technology, which guards against scratches and dings. It runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 processor, 4 Gbytes of memory, and a 320-GB hard drive. Pricing starts at $1,599. The Asus N50Vn and the M50Vm are media center laptops and will incorporate Blu-ray technology. Both laptops will run on an Intel Centrino 2 P8400 processor, 4 GB of memory, a 250-GB hard drive, and an Nvidia 9600M graphics card. Prices for both of these laptops start at $1,399.
  • Acer is also joining the fray with two budget laptops. The Aspire 4930-6862 is a 14-inch multimedia laptop that offers style and portability. It runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo T7350, 3 GB of memory, and a 250-GB hard drive. It debuts for $899. The Aspire 6930-6771 is a true cinematic wonder, equipped with a 16-inch screen with a 16-by-9 aspect ratio. It runs on the same processor as the 4930-6862, loads 3GB of memory, and uses a fast 320-GB hard drive.
  • Toshiba’s Satellite U405-ST550W laptop will be adding mobile WiMAX chips.

Monday I ordered a $59 Samsung Expresscard for my Cradlepoint MBR 1000 cellular router. I planned to connect my desktop to the router then pull the card for my laptop while traveling. Oops. Today I learned that the Cradlepoint doesn’t recognize the WiMAX Expresscard.

Clearwire is predicting a range of mobile applications for WiMax (video) including music, streaming video and location-based services. Mozilla Labs new Geode, for example, runs on Firefox and automatically deduces your location using Skyhook’s Loki technology. It can serve up relevant, nearby locations, and plot directions.

Sprint has updated their web site with coverage maps, XOHM ready devices, and service options. According to the Baltimore Sun, Sprint’s network in the city is more than half complete and available now to the public, with coverage in large sections of the city and some parts of Baltimore County (map). Sprint is providing the service with 180 mobile WiMax 802.16e base stations dotted around Baltimore, reports Unstung. “We’re adding more every week,” says Sprint spokesman John Polvika.

To demonstrate mobile connectivity, CNN, HULU and Streambox were shown while driving around the city in a van.

Incidentally, Hulu is going live for the remaining presidential debates. Hulu has an Election Hub with a mix of debates, speeches, political humor and commentary.

In other (unrelated) news, the Obama ‘08 iPhone application, an all volunteer effort, was demoed Tueday night in Portland, just before the presidential debates.

Obama ’08 is a free application and works with iPhone 3G, the original iPhone, and iPod touch. It features a Call Friends and Call Stats. You can also find your local Obama for America HQ, look up local campaign events, get instant access to Barack’s positions, as well as local and national campaign news as it happens. Photos and videos from the campaign trail, too.

Apple now holds 17% of the consumer smartphone market with nearly half of its new customers coming from Verizon Wireless.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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