Hesse’s Shoes the Hit of CTIA

Despite the fun of hearing Craig McCaw talk about the good ol’ days of wireless telephony with no punches pulled (who else can get up on stage and describe AT&T’s history as being “really an arm of the government”?), there wasn’t the substance of WiMax announcements we had been hoping for Wednesday at the CTIA show in San Francisco.

Yes, the Clearwire van was giving Mobile WiMax demo rides (ours, unfortunately, was delayed indefinitely when the ISP connection to the ad hoc network went down), and Clearwire chairman McCaw did speak glowingly of his latest endeavor, especially of its beefy chunk of 2.5 GHz spectrum. But neither he nor Xohm President Barry West (who was sitting with McCaw, alongside Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff before the keynotes started) would give any more details about the sometime-in-September launch of Xohm WiMax services in Baltimore.

So we are still left with more questions than answers, in three specific categories: Launch date, pricing plans, and… what was up with those checkered Vans that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was wearing during his keynote panel discussion?

When we saw Barry West walking outside the convention center later in the day, we asked him about all three. On the first two, his answers were “coming soon.” About the shoes? “I don’t know what Dan was thinking,” West said, shaking his head. Then Mr. West took our leave to go visit with a very big router company in San Jose that might have some WiMax gear to sell him. Now there’s a story line we’ll be following closely.

Look for some CTIA video later this week or early next, if we can remember how to work the editing software that once served us so well.

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