On the Road with WiMAX and Xfinity

Clear WiMAX Fancast Xfinity

While Dave’s been lazing around collecting TiVo and Clear QAM scoops this week ;), I’ve been recovering from two weeks of travel and preparing for next week’s trip out to Vegas. All the travel, however, has given me time to test out some new on-the-road tech. A trip to North Carolina proved fortuitous in light of the latest Clearwire WiMAX market launches. Both Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte North Carolina gained Clear service as of December 1.

I’ve been using Clear in Philly since October, but in my daily routine I rarely venture outside of free Wi-Fi range. Using WiMAX has been fun, but not strictly necessary. On the other hand,while visiting friends (and hotels) in North Carolina, it definitely came in handy. I avoided having to pay for Wi-Fi and  hooked into Clear service several times while riding down Interstate 95 (in the passenger seat). The signal remained relatively strong throughout the Durham and Charlotte metro areas, which means I got work done in the car instead of taking time out from visits with friends. Score 1 for WiMAX.

I also tried out Xfinity during my end-of-year travels. Unlike Ryan Lawler over at NewTeeVee, I had no problems with the Comcast authentication software and was up and running on Xfinity pretty quickly. However, like Ryan, my first TV Everywhere experience still came up short. The way Comcast has the service set up, it’s hard to tell what new content is available through Xfinity that wasn’t already available on Fancast. That’s not a big deal except for those of us trying to document what’s changed. However, searching for content I actually wanted to watch also didn’t produce much of interest. I don’t subscribe to any premium channels (no HBO for me), and my vision of catching old episodes of AMC’s Mad Men quickly faded when I saw that Comcast actually has zero episodes of the show online. I did tune into Men of a Certain Age for a while, but quickly turned to more interesting fare in my email inbox. Xfinity needs more content. Score pending.

More stories from the road next week when Dave and I head to Sin City.

1 thought on “On the Road with WiMAX and Xfinity”

  1. Yesterday’s TiVo news and my ability to race out to the car for a laptop and aircard to post in a timely fashion has me rethinking my plans to dump the MiFi after CES. There’s something to be said for always available wireless broadband. (3G is good enough. 4G may have less latency and higher speeds, but it’s comes with a smaller national footprint. Rumors on the blogs yesterday and today of a 3G/4G MiFi-ish combo coming to Sprint, but if it’s like other combo cards, the service pricing could be higher.)

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