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Comcast to resell Clear in Portland

Mon, 03/16/2009 - 9:00am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Comcast plans to launch mobile Internet in Portland, Ore., over Clearwire’s WiMAX network by mid-year, placing it among the first of Clearwire’s joint venture partners to resell the mobile WiMAX service.

The company will buy mobile WiMAX at wholesale prices and will resell its own version under its own name. Comcast has $1 billion invested in Clearwire.

Clearwire chief strategy officer Scott Richardson said the wholesale relationship was established when Comcast invested in Clearwire.

Comcast officials could not be reached for comment before press time, but the move comes as cable operators seek to fend off fresh competition from carriers like Verizon Communications and AT&T, who have released competing bundles over fiber-optic networks. The paid television service market is saturated, but mobile data is a growth market that cable hopes to get a share of before carriers launch competing 4G networks.

Clearwire recently replaced CEO Ben Wolff with industry veteran Bill Morrow (story here), moving Wolff to co-chairman. The company has defied widespread speculation that it lacked the capital for a swift WiMAX network deployment, announcing that it would burn through $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion in 2009 to build out its network.

The company says it will expand its mobile WiMAX network to cover 120 million people in 80 markets in 2010, a slightly lower prediction from last year’s forecast of 140 million.

 – Brian Santo contributed to this report

More Broadband Direct 03/16/09:

•  Comcast to resell Clear in Portland
•  Charter posts bigger Q4 loss
•  Sony, Comcast ready to open doors on retail store in Philly
•  ACA asks for opt-out on FCC reporting
•  Time Warner completes cable spin-off
•  Rogers prepares to name new CEO
•  Stations must warn if new TV signals lack reach
•  CopperGate bows new chip for MDU, hospitality apps
•  Ipitek bows new network management system for large MSOs
•  Broadcom adds ICs for new VoIP products
•  Broadband Nation exhibit details announced
•  AT&T hopes to gain concessions from unions; strike a possibility
•  Broadband Briefs for 03/1609

 

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