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Best Buy Launches Clearwire 4G Mobile Service

Minneapolis – Best
Buy has begun reselling Clearwire’s 4G Mobile WiMAX data service.

The deal, first
announced in July, will enable the retailer to offer wireless-broadband service
on 23 computing models from Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony and
Toshiba at most of its stores.  Best Buy will also provide service
activation, billing and connection support.

The service will
be marketed under the chain’s Best Buy Connect brand for mobile computing, and
will initially be priced at $45 per month for unlimited 4G service with a month-to-month
or two-year contract. Best Buy will waive the $35 activation fee for customers
who purchase the two-year contract, and will provide an additional $150 off
select hardware devices.

Best Buy launched
its Connect wireless services portfolio last spring by offering Sprint’s 3G
wireless broadband-data service. The chain has also entered

agreement with LightSquared

to resell that company’s planned 4G LTE voice
and data service, with trials set to being in the first quarter of 2012.

Under the Connect
program, the chain acts as an MVNO, billing consumers, providing customer
support, and selling mobile computing devices embedded with wireless modems at
subsidized prices with wireless activation.

“We’re finding
that customers increasingly want choice in service providers for mobile
broadband,” said Best Buy Connect VP Jed Stillman. He described the company’s
mobile offering as “an end-to-end option that gives them the freedom to connect
virtually, whenever or wherever, and the convenience of one point of contact–
Best Buy — for selection and service.”