Clearwire adds Huawei to WiMax vendor roster

Clearwire Corp. rounded out its roster of WiMax equipment vendors today by announcing that Huawei will be supplying the carrier with WiMax radio access network equipment.

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Huawei will provide Clearwire with "several key infrastructure pieces" for its nationwide WiMax network, including base stations, element management system components and other network hardware and software. Clearwire already uses WiMax RAN equipment supplied by Motorola Inc. and Samsung, as well as core IP infrastructure supplied by Cisco Systems Inc., base station switch equipment supplied by Ciena and microwave backhaul transport supplied by DragonWave.

Clearwire says that its choice of Huawei for RAN equipment completes its WiMax equipment provider selections. The company's eventual goal is to build a WiMax network that covers the entire U.S., providing wireless high-speed access to underserved populations that may still be stuck on dial-up services.

Clearwire, in tandem with Sprint Next Corp., is offering its WiMax services in Baltimore, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Portland, Ore. Clearwire is planning to roll out WiMax in 10 smaller markets next month, including Boise, Idaho, and eight markets in Texas. Sprint also has plans to commercially launch WiMax this year in Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle. In 2010, the company expects to launch WiMax services in Boston, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington.

Sprint's WiMax division -- which is now calling itself Sprint 4G -- also says it plans to release several WiMax devices in 2009 and 2010, such as a single-mode WiMax data card, WiMax-embedded laptops and a small-office WiMax broadband modem. Sprint's WiMax services are the fastest mobile broadband services on the market, offering peak downlink speeds of 12Mbit/sec. and average downlink speeds between 2Mbit/sec. and 4Mbit/sec.

This story, "Clearwire adds Huawei to WiMax vendor roster" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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