Clearwire Plans Two 3G/4G Phones In '10

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Kirkland, Wash. - Mobile WiMAX carrier


expects to offer two dual-mode 3G/4G handsets by the end of the year, the company said in announcing its first-quarter results.

One handset will be made by Samsung, and the other will be made by HTC. Although the carrier did not offer many details, it said the Samsung phone would be Android-based and "optimized for heavy video and video communications use." Both phones will feature Wi-Fi.

 The HTC phone could be the Android-based

Evo 4G

, unveiled by Clearwire majority owner Sprint earlier this year and targeted for summertime availability to Sprint subscribers.

Sprint, which resells Clearwire service under its own brand, has promoted the full-touchscreen Evo as the world's first Android-based 4G phone. The Android 2.1-based device will access Sprint's 4G Mobile WiMAX data service, 3G CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A data network, and 3G voice network. The Evo also features a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot that connects up to eight Wi-Fi-equipped devices to Sprint's 3G and 4G networks.

Clearwire also announced the names of new markets that will get 4G service as part of a previously announced plan to expand the network to 120 million people by the end of 2010. At the end of 2009, the company offered service in 27 markets with a population of more than 30 million people. Since then, it added five more: Houston and Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and York, Pa.

During the summer, Clearwire will turn on Nashville, Tenn.; Daytona, Orlando, Tampa, Fla.; Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y.; Merced, Modesto, Stockton, and Visalia, Calif.; Wilmington, Del.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Yakima and Tri-Cities, Wash.

Clearwire previously announced plans for summertime launches in Kansas City, Kan.; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; and the Washington D.C. core.

With the summertime launches announced to date, the Clearwire network would cover 50 markets.

Other major markets due by the end of 2010 are New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, the San Francisco Bay area, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

In other announcements, Clearwire said it expects to expand its subscriber base by year's end to 2 million, including people who subscribe to one of its resellers' service. That would be up from 971,000 at the end of the first quarter. Of those subscribers, 157,000 subscribed to service offered by one of the carrier's resellers.

The company also reported first-quarter net adds of 283,000, exceeding full-year 2009 net adds. The company's net loss grew to $94.1 million in the first quarter, up from a year-ago $71.1 million.

Clear's network delivers average mobile download speeds of 3Mbps to 6Mbps with bursts exceeding 10Mbps, the company said.

Service is available through a variety of devices, including a 4G desktop modem, a 4G USB modem, 3G/4G USB modem, and WiMAX-embedded laptops available direct from manufacturers and through other channels.


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