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WiMAX Watch: Wherefore Art Thou, Apple?

I had two questions on my mind this week as Gus and I were covering XOHM Sprint Nextel's WiMAX launch at the Bond Street Wharf in Fells Point on Wednesday.

The first question was something that had our friend, Mario Armstrong, that digital dynamo who hosts tech shows on NPR and WYPR, scratching his head. And the second question is something my work spouse and resident tech guru, Gus, has been trying to find the answer for since we heard about WiMAX, which is like one big "hotspot" for wireless Internet connectivity.

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Now, we realize the actual XOHM WiMAX launch happened on Sept. 29. But c'mon. The official launch on Wednesday was quite a big to-do. Filled with lots of top executives from Sprint, Nokia, Intel, Samsung and the like. They rented a $1.6 million house, water taxis, Kali's Court and more to show off their baby. It was a big event that attracted press from across the country. Lots of ubertechgeek eyeballs all trained on our great, big little city, Baltimore.

And yet --- Mario, please correct me if I am wrong since I didn't have time to hang around after the press conference -- I didn't spot a single high level politician anywhere in sight to support the event. Odd? Methinks so.

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This was a big event that put Baltimore on the map. This is a hot new technology. Where was the love, B-more?

If you were there and spotted a politico, clue me in. Maybe I missed them standing behind a tree or something.

The second question was something that Gus was wondering about, and one that would affect both of us since we both use Apple products. With all these other companies jumping on board the WiMAX train, what's up with Apple? Will Apple grace us with some nifty WiMAX gadgets any time in the near future?

Barry West, chief tech officer and President of XOHM Sprint Nextel, had an answer for us after the presser:

"I hope [Steve] Jobs will wake up one day and say, 'God, I really made a big mistake. I want to put WiMAX in Apple products."

So there you have it. An answer to our Apple question, sorta. I guess we won't be seeing WiMAX-enabled Apple products anytime soon. But maybe Apple's Genius CEO will one day wake up and make the leap, and maybe one day he'll let iPhone owners pick their own service provider.

Ah. Dreamer, I am. 

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