Wireless broadband provider Clearwire said Aug. 3 it plans to roll out service in 10 new markets by Sept. 1, continuing its march to bring 4G wireless service to 80 markets covering up to 120 million people by the end of 2010.
The new markets are Boise, Idaho; Bellingham, Wash.; and eight markets throughout Texas, including Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Killeen/Temple, Waco and Wichita Falls. Clearwire already offers service in Atlanta, Baltimore, Las Vegas and Portland, Ore.
Clearwire plans to add additional 4G network service in Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle by the end of the year. Some of the additional markets planned to launch in 2010 include New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Clearwire and Sprint Nextel are the only two U.S. carriers betting on WiMax technology to deliver 4G wireless broadband. Verizon and AT&T, the nation’s two largest carriers, are betting on a rival technology called LTE for their 4G networks. Both WiMax and LTE allow for the delivery of last-mile wireless broadband access, promising faster download speeds than current cellular networks.
Sprint Nextel opened the original U.S. WiMax market in Baltimore last year. Following a merger that saw Sprint turn over its entire 2.5GHz spectrum holdings and its WiMax-related assets, including its Xohm division, to Clearwire, the newly branded Clear Jan. 6 rolled out a WiMax network in Portland, Ore.
As part of the merger deal, Clearwire also brought in $3.2 billion in WiMax investments from Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks. Comcast, Intel and Google have already taken write downs on their WiMax investments.