By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Clearwire Communications has announced the Clear Spot personal hot spot, an accessory that enables standard Wi-Fi products to connect to the Internet at true broadband speeds via the company's Clear mobile WiMAX service.
Manufactured by CradlePoint, the Clear Spot device is a portable, battery-powered router that connects up to eight Wi-Fi devices to the Internet anywhere within Clear's WiMAX network. Customers simply insert a Clear USB modem (available separately for $49) into the router and an instant hot spot is created, allowing any Wi-Fi-enabled CE or PC device to access the network.
“With Clear Spot, we've combined the speed and mobility of our 4G service with the ubiquity of Wi-Fi to create the best possible broadband experience for our customers,” said Scott Richardson, chief strategy officer for Clearwire. “While many CE 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. 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. In fact, we encourage our customers to use their Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, or other CE devices, on our open network to receive better Internet connections.”
“CradlePoint technology is at the forefront of device interoperability and we are excited to enter the WiMAX ecosystem through our relationship with Clearwire in developing the Clear Spot device,” said Jack Alton, CradlePoint's sales VP. “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.”
With an all-IP network designed specifically for data, Clear's mobile WiMAX service delivers mobile download speeds up to 4Mbps to any Wi-Fi devices used in conjunction with Clear Spot.
Clear's mobile Internet plans do not require long-term service contracts and can be purchased by the day for just $10, or by the month, starting at $30 per month.
As part of a multi-year network build-out plan, CLEAR's mobile WiMAX service is expected to become available in major metropolitan areas across the U.S., and is currently available in Portland, Ore. The Clear Spot router will be available for $139 at Clear stores and authorized dealers or online at www.clear.com in early April. The company expects to introduce other Clear Spot-enabled products in the coming months.
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