What will make WiMAX service a must-have for you?

Marguerite Reardon has written a long article on CNET asking whether Sprint’s WiMAX service is doomed to fail. She enumerates several problems with Sprint’s offering and argues that it could end up being like EarthLink’s failed muni Wi-Fi strategy:

  • Sprint’s prices are not low enough, speeds not fast enough to entice people away from their DSL subscriptions;
  • very few devices that have a WiMAX chip so why would people rush out and buy the service;
  • not available in a lot of places;
  • even if Sprint has a $10 day pass, you still have to buy a $60 WiMAX card.

I think it’s hard to predict so early in the game whether Sprint will succeed. But for me, there are several features that Sprint’s WiMAX service MUST have in order for me to run out and get it:

  • flat fee monthly price of $30 or less
  • no long contracts: I can cancel any time
  • roaming agreements with other WiMAX operators around the world so that when I go to Amsterdam for example, I can simply use the WorldMax network without paying extra (this is something the Wi-Fi hotspot operators like T-Mobile do not have because even if you have a T-Mobile hotspot subscription, you have to pay extra to use their T-Mobile hotspots overseas)
  • speeds between 2 Mbps and 10 Mbps (comparable to what you get today in Wi-Fi hotspots)
  • ability to use the network even in a moving vehicle such as a tram

The most important for me are the flat fee, cancellable at any time, and roaming features — especially the roaming. This last one will save me a lot of money especially on phone calls, which I could do on Skype on a WiMAX network.

What’s your list of requirements before you sign up for WiMAX service?


  1. There are already no contracts and it works in moving vehicles. The performance is indeed typically 2-4Mbps and some get 6Mbps or more.

    When do you get 2-10Mbps for public WiFi? I’m lucky if I get 1Mbps. The WiFi range is so small, you pretty much have to sit near the router and even then sharing with other users.

    While roaming agreements will likely occur, the device itself is not tied to Xohm anyway. Like WiFi, you can connect to any ‘mobile’ WiMAX service as long as your card supports the spectrum – most cards support all three major spectrum ranges but not all do.

    What I’m looking forward to about WiMAX is for it to appear in any device, like GPS, iPod, PSP, etc.

  2. The only requirement for me to sign up as that is be available! I live in the sticks and my “broadband” (ha) choices are: Sprint or Verizon EVDO or satellite………Actually the ultimate wimax modem for me would be one that could roam on Sprints EVDO

  3. i’d like to see a service that is available universally w/o me haveing to sign up for a dozen different providers countrywide

    even if the speed is not that great, but while travelling i need my email, not youtube or big software downloads! at least 500k would be OK for that

  4. Roaming is somethin a company in Spain is trying to have for the world. Name is Gowex. Thy are doing lot of things.

    I think Wimax is a winner and sooner o late critical mass will come.