Clearwire launches WiMax service in Portland

High-speed wireless service is offered under the 'Clear' brand

Clearwire Corp. launched WiMax services in Portland, Ore., yesterday under the Clear brand, making it the second city after Baltimore, where it offers similar high-speed wireless.

The Baltimore market launched in September under the Xohm brand name when Sprint Nextel was the major operator. In December, Sprint, Clearwire, Intel Corp., Google Inc. and several cable companies closed a deal to form a joint venture with Clearwire for a nationwide WiMax rollout.

Clearwire in Kirkland, Wash., said in a statement that it will announce its 2009 rollouts early this year. Last fall, Sprint had also envisioned a complete Chicago rollout as well as Washington and other cities in early 2009. It also has 46 other markets it hopes to convert to full mobile WiMax from a pre-WiMax specification.

Clearwire services in Portland deliver 6Mbit/sec. download speeds with a residential modem and 4Mbit/sec. to a mobile device equipped with a WiMax radio. Plans can be purchased by the day or by the month, with mobile Internet plans starting at $30 a month or $10 a day. Several laptop makers are expected to support the WiMax specification. Motorola Inc. already offers a $50 USB modem for laptop connections.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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