Now is when Sprint's attempt to vault directly to 4G flops or flies. Baltimore is the first U.S. city to get an operational WiMax network, under the carrier's Xohm branding, with prices starting at $10 for a day pass and $35 per month.
There are no contracts, and WiMax modems will be sold for $45. An unlimited data plan is $50, at least for now. There's no voice plan at all, yet–understandable, given the lack of phones–but you won't need it unless you're worried about e911 on your laptop, as Skype works just fine.
Sprint promises throughput of between 2 and 4 megabits per second, but says you'll get up to 10 (ten!) under optimal conditions. It's describing the result, in effect, as like a city-wide WiFi hotspot: a claim that seems ballsy, but is really just the promise that WiMax (look at its name!) held all along.
The problem, of course, is that you have to go to downtown Baltimore to get it. Baltimore? Good lord, Sprint. Are the next two rollouts going to be Detriot and Fallujah?