Xanadoo upgrading to mobile WiMAX

Cisco made its first WiMAX-related announcement since acquiring WiMAX vendor Navini in December for $330 million. Cisco customer Xanadoo, a wireless ISP operating in the central and southern U.S., has upgraded its market in Springfield, Ill., to 802.16e and is working to upgrade the rest of its markets that are using technology based on Navini’s proprietary broadband wireless technology.

Xanadoo has spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band and is targeting consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses to compete with DSL and cable offerings. The ISP offers seven different pricing plans beginning at $15 per month with plans to soon launch a prepaid wireless broadband offering. This large number of pricing plans is how Xanadoo is differentiating itself from DSL and cable, which typically only offer two different plans and require bundling of services. “There are niche markets where prepaid appeals to consumers,” Marshall Pagon, chairman and CEO of Xanadoo said during an interview with FierceWireless today.

“There are the credit challenged but lots of professionals and contractors that are out of the office that don’t need a contract. The resources they use are web-based. Students as well as military people are also attracted to such offerings.” Xanadoo covers about 8 million pops in Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and West Virginia. The operator also holds 700 MHz spectrum covering nearly 156 million pops in some major markets. -Lynnette