Clearwire Races Ahead with 4G WiMax
WiMax mobile broadband provider Clearwire Communications used the annual
CTIA show March 23 to announce a slew of announcements that it hopes
will amount to 120 new customers by the end of the year. In addition to
adding new markets for expansion, Clearwire announced the launch of the
30th 4G-embedded computer and 4G service for the forthcoming Apple iPad.
The company also outlined a series of advancements in network architecture that will increase capacity, enhance data speeds and help reduce the environmental impact of the company's growing wireless data network.
Clearwire also disclosed the names of some additional cities where Clearwire plans to launch 4G service in 2010, including Los Angeles, Miami, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. Clearwire previously indicated that some of its new 4G markets scheduled to launch in 2010 include New York City, Houston, Boston, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Across our 4G markets today, we're experiencing data usage levels that could shake the rest of the wireless industry to its core," Bill Morrow, CEO of Clearwire, said in a statement. "On average, our mobile 4G customers are using more than 7 GB of data per month, and we're very pleased about the implications. Those who want to have a misguided debate about competing 4G radio technologies are missing the bigger picture. To deliver true mobile broadband requires deep spectrum resources and an all-IP network, and Clearwire remains unrivaled on both fronts."
Clearwire currently provides 4G service in 27 markets across the United States. The Clearwire customer experience is similar to that provided by Wi-Fi, but without the short-range limitations of a traditional Internet hotspot. Clearwire uses a wireless 4G technology that differs from Wi-Fi called WiMAX, which provides service areas measured in miles, not feet. Clearwire currently delivers speeds comparable to DSL connections, with average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 mbps and bursts over 10 mbps.
"In fact, the efficiency of our IP-network and scale of our spectrum holdings have not only enabled us to launch our own successful Clearwire service, but they have enabled us to become the 4G 'Network of Networks,'" Morrow added. "Whether customers sign up for 4G service through us, Sprint, Comcast, or Time Warner Cable, it is our network and our spectrum making it all possible. And, we continue to look ahead."
The company also announced that it has embarked on a series of new 4G network initiatives to deliver faster service to end users, increase its microwave backhaul capacity and significantly improve the energy efficiency of its thousands of base stations across the United States.
Employing advanced antenna signal processing technology, Clearwire will expand its cell site capacities by doubling the number of transmitters and receivers per site, thereby boosting potential end user speeds by approximately 20-30 percent. Upgrades will be made on a rolling basis across Clearwire's 4G network and have already been completed in some of the company's existing markets, including Seattle, Honolulu and Maui.
Ongoing enhancements to Clearwire's cost-efficient microwave backhaul network are expected to increase total backhaul capacity by 250 percent or more, with long-term capability to support gigabit per second speeds in high-density, high-traffic areas. This added capacity will give Clearwire's robust, cost effective network the ability to leverage its spectrum portfolio and support the growth in mobile data traffic, which Cisco projects will double annually across the industry for the next five years.