Clearwire, Sprint Detail 4G Mobile WiMAX Plans

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Las Vegas-- Mobile WiMAX operator Clearwire and majority owner Sprint Nextel revealed the names of the next cities that will get commercial 4G service this year on the way to expanding the wireless-data service beyond its current 27 markets to a population of 120 million people by year's end.

Clearwire markets the service under the Clear brand, and Sprint resells the service under its own brand. The announcemenets were made here at CTIA Wireless 2010 today.

Earlier this year, the two companies announced plans to roll out service this year to Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Now the two have added the following markets to the 2010 list: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and St. Louis.

On other topics, Clearwire announced plans to accelerate data speeds by 20 to 30 percent, unveiled its latest Clear-service-embedded subsidized netbook (The $249 Dell Inspiron Mini), and announced plans for its next-generation battery-powered mobile 4G hot spot, which will incorporate embedded mobile WiMAX technology. The current $139 Clear Spot  requires the addition of a 4G data modem.

In upgrading its WiMAX netrork, Clearwire is using antenna signal-processing technology to double the number of transmitters and receivers per cell site, boosting potential end-user throughputs by about 20-30 percent, the company said. The Clearwire network currently delivers average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6Mbps with bursts of more than 10Mbps, the company said.

The company is making the upgrades on a rolling basis and has already completed the installs in some existing markets, including Seattle, Honolulu and Maui.

To support the additional wireless capacity, the company is enhancing its microwave backhaul network to increase total backhaul capacity by 250 percent or more, and it's implementing a long-term capability to support gigabit per second speeds in high-traffic areas, the company said.

In new products, Clearwire on April 1 will launch the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with embedded 4G technology through select Clear-owned outlets, telesales and

. Currently, Clearwire offers 30 different 4G-embedded netbooks and notebooks from such companies as Dell, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Samsung, and Toshiba. The Mini 10 will be available for $249.99 after instant rebate.

The next-generation Clear Spot mobile Wi-Fi hotspot will be available sometime later this year, the company said without disclosing details.

 Minority owners in Clearwire are Comcast and Time Warner cable, which are rolling out their own brand of 4G service over the Clearwire network.


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