Clearwire said Dec. 2 its WiMax service is now available in 10 more markets across four states. The 4G broadband network is now available in 27 markets across the United States covering over 30 million people.
Clearwire’s new markets are Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C.; Chicago; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; and Seattle/Puget Sound, Wash. In 2010, Clearwire plans launches in New York, Boston, Washington, 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 in 2008. 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.