It's the first WiMax rollout since Clearwire and Sprint Nextel combined operations debuts in Portland. The open all-IP network provides mobile and wireless customers with average download speeds initially of 2M to 4M bps and peak rates that are considerably faster. Clearwire plans to provide WiMax service in most of the top 100 markets by no later than 2010, although the current economic conditions could put a crimp in those plans.
If not quite coast-to-coast, WiMax is now at least on each coast. Three
months after Sprint Nextel carried out the nation's first WiMax rollout in
Baltimore, Clearwire-the newly combined WiMax operations of Sprint and
-flipped the switch Jan. 6 on a WiMax deployment in Portland,
WiMax's 4G technology allows for the delivery of last-mile wireless
broadband access, promising faster download speeds than current cellular
networks, and holds the potential to be a competitor to fixed-line broadband
such as DSL. Verizon Wireless, AT&T and
other mobile carriers have committed to a 3G technology known as LTE.
"Today is a historic day for the evolution of mobile computing and
communications services in Portland
and the U.S.,"
Clearwire CEO Benjamin G. Wolff said in a
statement. "Clearwire is reinventing wireless by delivering an unmatched
combination of Internet speed and mobility."
Clearwire plans to provide WiMax service in most of the top 100 markets by
no later than 2010, although the current economic conditions could put a crimp
in those plans. Clearwire estimates it will take up to $7 billion to complete
the network. When Sprint
and Clearwire formally closed their $14.5 billion merger deal
Dec. 1 to
combine the two carriers' 4G wireless Internet businesses, the deal also
included a combined $3.2 billion investment by Comcast, Intel, Time Warner
Cable, Google and Bright House Networks.
"WiMax is a new wireless technology that raises the bar on a truly
mobile and affordable Internet experience for consumers," said Sean
Maloney, Intel executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer.
"Intel, along with Clearwire and its partners, are proud to bring U.S.
customers a next-generation world-leading broadband solution that redefines
how, when and where consumers interact with the Internet."