Clearwire now has mobile WiMAX up and running in Atlanta, its second major market. The new network covers 1,200 square miles and approximately 3 million people.
As with the previous Portland, Ore., deployment, the network equipment is all Motorola’s. The Atlanta area is served by more than 400 cell sites that use Motorola's WAP 400 and WAP 450 Diversity Access Point products, the vendor said. The WAP units use tower-top power amplifiers linked by fiber-optic cable, with the base control units housed in small outdoor cabinets at the bottom of the tower. Motorola said this creates a cell site significantly smaller than traditional cellular sites.
Motorola is also supplying consumer equipment, including its desktop CPEi 150 and USBw 100 adaptor.
Clearwire said that Clear customers can expect to see download speeds of 4- to 6 Mbps with bursts exceeding 15 Mbps, surpassing even the peak theoretical speeds of 7.2 Mbps in upcoming 3G upgrades.
Home Internet service plans start at $20 per month, while mobile Internet plans start at $40 per month, or customers can purchase a day pass for $10. Additional savings are available for customers purchasing both home and mobile Internet services or signing up for a two-year service agreement. Full details about pricing options and business plans are available here.
Clearwire said Panasonic is still preparing a Toughbook computer with embedded WiMAX based on Intel’s Centrino 2 processors. Also coming this summer are a promised dual-mode – 3G/4G – modem that will provide clear customers access to Sprint’s nationwide 3G network. Consumers will also soon be able to order the Samsung Mondi mobile WiMAX-enabled handheld device.
Clearwire is obliged to keep answering the question that won’t go away: Will it be able to afford its ambitious rollout plan? Clearwire said it continues to progress on plans to bring its Clear service to 80 markets by the end of 2010. Las Vegas is next, later this summer, with Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle to follow. Some of the additional markets planned to launch in 2010 include New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.