The largest and second largest PC manufacturers in the world, HP and Dell respectively, haven’t taken an instant liking to WiMax it seems. The launch of the first commercial WiMax network in Baltimore, earlier this month, inspired OEMs Acer, Aspire, Lenovo and Toshiba to launch WiMax-enabled notebooks. However, Dell and HP did not rush to take advantage of the launch.
Moving to the largest PC supplier HP, even though the company is testing WiMax it has no immediate plans of offering support for the technology in its notebooks. It has asked its customers to explore the option of purchasing WiMax enabled PC card, USB dongle or ExpressCard, if they are keen on using WiMax. Dell and HP want to wait until WiMax becomes available in other major cities.
The Netbook movement, if it may be labeled as such, has received a shot in the arm in the U.S with the launch of Sprint’s XOHM WiMax network in Baltimore. The launch effectively ushers in the WiMax epoch in the U.S.
Subscribers will have unabated mobile broadband access throughout Baltimore as the XOHM network envelopes the entire city. Sprint is claiming downlinks speeds of 2-4 Mbps, effectively faster than 3G.
Netbooks are expected to become more practical and even indispensable to a fair degree as more cities appear on the WiMax map in coming months. Moreover, netbook are beginning to make much more sense due to the financial meltdown.
WiMax has been heavily touted for its ability to provide last mile connectivity. As a result people have been keenly awaiting the advent of WiMax, the technology that is capable of sustaining wireless broadband networks spanning entire cities. But the wait for WiMax in the U.S has constantly been elongated for the past few years and the technology has never arrived.
However, Sprint is finally going to put an end to the wait. Baltimore will become the first U.S city to have a WiMax network in October. Sprint has scheduled a launch event on October 8, 2008 in Baltimore. Some other major cities including Chicago and Washington, D.C., are also expected to jump onto the WiMax bandwagon this year.