Sprint: Baltimore a test for future WiMAX rollouts

During his keynote address on Thursday at WiMAX World 2008, Atish Gude, senior vice president of mobile broadband operations for Sprint's Xohm business, said Sprint is using its WiMAX launch in Baltimore to determine how it will launch new markets in the future. Apparently the operator hasn't decided whether its will launch markets one by one or make a big splash with a number of markets going commercial at the same time.

Gude also said Sprint will continue to evolve its pricing plans. In Baltimore, it is offering a range of billing options for subscribers, including $10-day passes and a limited $50 lifetime offer that allows a customer to choose two devices, such as PC cards and USB dongles, it wants to use on the WiMAX network.

Sprint has also been skewered as of late over its intention to cap data usage if some users abuse the network. The "acceptable use" policy, written into its Xohm subscriber agreements, gives the company the right to limit data usage. According to the policy, Xohm may use "various tools and techniques designed to limit the bandwidth available for certain bandwidth intensive applications or protocols, such as file sharing," in order to ensure a high-quality experience for the overall subscriber base.

Gude made no apologies for this policy. "Sometimes the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few. Every wireless network operator knows this."

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