Clearwire Offers iPhone WiMax Hot Spot

Promising faster Internet speeds than existing 3G networks, Clearwire rolls out a 4G WiMax portable router that can wirelessly connect to up eight devices, including the Apple iPhone, some BlackBerry devices, some Windows Mobile phones, the Android-powered G1 and the upcoming Palm Pre. In addition, the Clear WiMax hot-spot router will work with gaming and music devices, digital and video cameras, and WiMax-embedded laptops.

WiMax provider Clearwire said March 31 it plans to begin offering a Wi-Fi device that allows users of Apple's iPhone and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to tap into Clearwire's 4G mobile WiMax network. Clearwire claims its WiMax technology will deliver wireless Internet speeds several times faster than users' phones with embedded 3G technology-without having to find a Wi-Fi hot spot.
The $139 Clear Spot router, manufactured by CradlePoint, is a portable, battery-powered device that connects up to eight Wi-Fi devices to the Internet via Clearwire's mobile WiMax network, which is currently up and running in Portland, Ore., with another eight cities scheduled for rollout in 2009 and at least another four markets in 2010.
The new Wi-Fi router, branded under the name Clear, is the first Clear Spot Wi-Fi-enabled device from Clearwire. The company expects to introduce other Clear Spot products in the coming months. The device will be introduced at the CTIA Wireless trade show being held April 1 to 3 in Las Vegas.
Clearwire said the new service will work with most Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, including the iPhone, select BlackBerry devices and Windows Mobile phones, the Android-powered G1, and the upcoming Palm Pre. In addition, the Clear router will work with gaming and music devices, digital and video cameras, and WiMax-embedded laptops.
"While many CE [consumer electronics] devices will eventually include embedded WiMax technology, our customers can now easily use their existing Wi-Fi-enabled phones, cameras, game systems or laptops in compelling new ways," Scott Richardson, chief strategy officer for Clearwire, said in a statement. "Since Clear is a true broadband Internet service, which just happens to be delivered wirelessly, we actually welcome the use of heavy bandwidth data applications that conventional 3G network operators may discourage or simply can't support."
Earlier this in March, AT&T, the exclusive network provider for the iPhone, found its network overwhelmed when iPhone-toting techies converged on Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest conference. Users found service coverage spotty to nonexistent.
"We encourage our customers to use their Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, or other CE devices, on our open network to receive better Internet connections," Richardson said.
Clearwire's mobile Internet pricing plans do not require long-term service contracts and can be purchased by the day for $10, or by the month starting at $30 per month.
"Clearwire's mobile WiMax network offers an attractive opportunity to expand the reach of our products into a new and growing mobile networking standard while helping the company to expand the value of WiMax to the wide array of Wi-Fi-enabled devices already in the marketplace," Jack Alton, CradlePoint vice president of sales, said in a statement.