Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clearwire Sets Big City 4G Launch Dates


October 18, 2010 | Michelle Donegan

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and its partners today confirmed the launch dates for commercial mobile WiMax services in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Clearwire said the 4G services will launch in New York on November 1, in Los Angeles on December 1, and in San Francisco in late December.

These are key markets for Clearwire in the race to cover the US with 4G mobile broadband, as MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) has already fired up Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Las Vegas and Dallas, and Verizon Wireless 's planned LTE service launch in 38 cities looms large. (See CTIA 2010: Verizon Ups LTE Launch to 38 Cities, Verizon Breathing Down Sprint's 4G Neck, T-Mobile's HSPA+ Rivals Clearwire, US LTE Speeds, MetroPCS Beats Verizon to LTE in Sin City, MetroPCS: The City Limits of 4G, and MetroPCS Saddles Up LTE in Dallas.)

News of these big city launches for Clearwire has been brewing for some time as the dual-mode 3G/4G service has been available in New York and Los Angeles to some customers on a promotional basis ahead of the official, commercial launch. (See Clearwire Clearer on NY, LA.)

In New York, from November 1, the commercial WiMax services will be available from three service providers under their own brands: Clearwire's Clear; Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S)'s 4G; and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s Mobile Internet service. (See Sprint: 4G Is in the Air for NYC and Clearwire 'Finally in New York City'.)

In Los Angeles, both Clearwire and Sprint will offer the mobile WiMax services from December 1.

And in San Francisco, from late December, users will be able to sign up to either Clearwire's Clear service, Sprint's 4G services, or Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s Xfinity Internet 2go service.

Clearwire's mobile WiMax network is commercially available in 56 US cities, covering 66 million people. By the end of this year, the WiMax service is also expected to be up and running in Denver, Miami, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

Clearwire's Rover Unlimited 4G Internet service is a finalist in Light Reading's Leading Lights awards in the Best New Mobile Service or Application category. (See Leading Lights: Mobile App Finalists.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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