Atlanta – EarthLink, the provider of data, voice and IT services, will enter the wireless market though a wholesale agreement with carrier Clearwire.
EarthLink plans to offer high-speed fixed and mobile broadband service by using Clearwire’s 4G WiMAX network, and the company will initially target the residential market in early 2013. Future products will include mobile devices and services for small-business customers.
As Clearwire’s 4G LTE network comes online, EarthLink and Clearwire said they expect to extend their agreement to include faster LTE service.
“Clearwire’s 4G network is a great extension to EarthLink’s business, enabling them to add 4G fixed and mobile data plans to their diverse service portfolio,” said Don Stroberg, Clearwire’s senior VP of strategic partnerships and wholesale.”
Clearwire wholesales its 4G airtime to carriers, ISPs and other service providers in the U.S.
For U.S. consumers, EarthLink offers dial-up Internet access, broadband cable Internet service, DSL service, and web hosting. For U.S. businesses, EarthLink’s portfolio includes Internet access, voice and data services, and cloud hosting.
To distribute the wireless products and services, an EarthLink spokesperson said the company wouldn’t likely sell through brick-and-mortar retailers but “will have strategic partners [online retailers] who sell online” but that the company “will primarily sell this service on our own website and through our call centers.”
In the past, EarthLink has offered some wireless services “on a very limited basis,” the spokesperson said. “This is a very different type of offering with a much larger footprint,” she added.