Clearwire Debuts Portland WiMax - Page 2

Clearwire's open all-IP network provides customers with average download speeds initially of 2M to 4M bps and peak rates that are considerably faster. In the Portland rollout, mobile, residential and business plans can be purchased by the day or by the month without long-term service contracts. Home Internet service plans start at $20 per month, while mobile Internet plans start at $30 per month, or customers can purchase a day pass for $10.

Portland's WiMax mobile customers will access the service through a WiMax-enabled USB modem for laptops. The Motorola USB modem costs $49.99. Customers can purchase the modem from a local retail store or online, and activate service at their convenience, anywhere in Clearwire's coverage area.

For residential service, Clearwire offers customers a wireless high-speed modem. Customers plug the modem into a power outlet anywhere in their home or office and connect the modem to a PC. The residential modem, also from Motorola, can be leased for $4.99 monthly.

Clearwire hopes its combined wireless spectrum with Sprint will allow the new Clearwire to achieve greater coverage, cost and operational efficiency, and bandwidth utilization than either company could by operating alone.

Intel, a longtime proponent of WiMax, will invest about $1 billion in the new Clearwire while Comcast plans to contribute a little more than $1 billion. Time Warner is putting up $550 million and Google $500 million. Sprint, the nation's No. 3 wireless carrier, will own the largest stake in the new company, with about 51 percent equity ownership. Existing Clearwire shareholders will own about 27 percent of the venture.

The new strategic investors, as a group, will be acquiring about 22 percent of the new Clearwire. Google will become Sprint's preferred mobile search provider and Sprint users will have easier access to Google Maps for mobile, YouTube and other Google services. The new WiMax network will be open to all legal devices and services, including Google's Android platform. Intel will supply networking gear and software for the new network.