Despite all of its ups and downs, and the uncertainty of US WiMAX deployments before the deal with Clearwire was signed, Sprint is sitting pretty right about now with early deployments of the Xohm network. Quite simply, the launch couldn’t have come at a better time. A year ago, netbooks (also called ultra-mobile PCs, ultra portables, mobile Internet devices, etc.) were the province of tech writers dedicated to the mobile computing industry. Today, even mainstream Dell has a netbook available, and Toys “R” Us is going to start selling the Asus Eee line alongside Barbies and Big Wheels.
The point is that the market has exploded for mobile broadband, just as Sprint is on the cusp of deploying WiMAX in several significant metro areas.
Analyst Paul Kapustka with Sidecut Reports has a new paper out called “Goin’ Mobile: How WiMax Could Change the Consumer Broadband Experience”. The report covers, unsurprisingly, the consumer market for WiMAX, and shows where demand exists and why. Among many others, Kaputska quotes Sprint’s Atish Gude about the belief that there is a “big underserved market below the professional 3G users.” In other words, while mobile broadband has been targeted at the enterprise, WiMAX is arriving on the scene just as consumers are realizing how much they like taking the Internet with them wherever they go.