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Clear lands in Vegas; 3G/4G modem imminent

Tue, 07/21/2009 - 8:40am
Brian Santo

Clearwire has always promised its Clear 4G subscribers access to parent Sprint’s 3G cellular network, but the necessary modem will finally be available Aug. 1. And with that introduction, Sprint is announcing it is ready to go the other way; Sprint subscribers will have access to Clear, where available – Baltimore, Portland, Ore., Atlanta and, as of today, Las Vegas.

Clearwire announced that several new devices that will work with its network are soon imminent. It also said that Ciena will be providing backhaul in Las Vegas, as it already does in the other three Clear markets. Motorola has been Clearwire’s main supplier of WiMAX equipment, and the two companies issued a release saying that relationship remains ongoing through the Las Vegas deployment.

On Aug. 1, Clear will begin commercializing the 4G+ mobile USB, a dual-mode 4G/3G modem. Clear customers who travel outside of Clear’s 4G coverage areas will be able to access Sprint’s nationwide 3G network.

That same modem will enable Sprint’s subscribers to get on Clear’s network. Sprint said it won’t release additional information about its launch plans until August.

Typical 3G download speeds are between 1 Mbps and 1.7 Mbps. Clear delivers 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps, with bursts over 10 Mbps.

Separately, subscribers with Apple laptops will be able to connect to the Clear network using a USB modem beginning Aug. 17 with the introduction of the Clear Connection Manager software for Mac. The software is compatible with existing Clear USB 4G WiMAX-only modems and will be available for download from Clear.com. Dual-mode Clear 4G+ mobile USB service is expected to be available for Macs in Q4 ’09, Clearwire said.

The company previously announced it would begin selling its Clear mobile WiMAX service in Las Vegas. Clearwire’s Las Vegas network covers approximately 1.7 million residents across 638 square miles. 

Among the new devices soon to be available to work with Clear service is the Samsung Mondi, described as a handheld that combines the abilities of a PC with the size and portability of a phone.

Clearwire said a long-promised Panasonic laptop with embedded WiMAX is also due to hit the market soon.

Motorola’s CPEi 150, a desktop unit, and USBw 100 adaptor, a plug-in wireless modem, have long been available.

Ciena said its Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery (CESD) platforms are providing the backhaul solution for Clearwire's service. Clearwire is using Ciena's LE-311vT Service Delivery Switches, CN 5305T Service Aggregation Switches and Ethernet Services Manager.

More Broadband Direct 07/21/09:
•  Clear lands in Vegas; 3G/4G modem imminent
•  Charter playing banks against bondholders?
•  Comcast builds gaming community with RealGames, Bunchball
•  Qwest extends contract with DirecTV
•  MetroCast beefs up transport capacity with RCN Metro
•  Netgear to help Internet subscribers measure use
•  Research: Worldwide broadband households to near 650M by 2013
•  Debate starting on new French Internet piracy bill
•  Broadband Briefs for 07/21/09
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