Atlanta Gets Mobile WiMAX  

Clear officially launched its Mobile WiMAX service in Atlanta today, though the system has been operating without publicity for about six weeks, notes the Atlanta Constitution.

Clearwire hopes to extend its subscriber base by nearly 3 million with the metro Atlanta expansion, company officials said in an recent analyst call. The Atlanta network covers more than 1,200 square miles, the biggest yet.

There are still holes in the huge footprint, which covers everything inside I-285 and more. Service is not yet available in parts of the Northside around Dunwoody and Sandy Springs and DeKalb County around Decatur. A complete network of transmitters that will close those gaps is still being installed, according to the company.

Clear requires a USB ($59) or residential WiMAX modem ($79) with a $35 activation fee. Service rates that start at $10 a day and go to $50 a month.

Clear also announced that soon Panasonic will deliver a Toughbook computer with embedded WiMAX, a dual-mode, 3G/4G modem which will provide CLEAR customers access to Sprint’s nationwide 3G network, and the Samsung Mondi, a mobile WiMAX enabled handheld device.

This is the third market for Clear, which has previously launched systems in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon. Las Vegas is reportedly operational and ready to go. But the “official” launch — including new store openings and a marketing blitz — will begin this summer.

This year Clear will also launch in Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Philadelphia, and convert existing pre-WiMAX markets in Seattle, Honolulu and Charlotte, N.C., to mobile WiMAX.

By 2010, Clearwire projects 4.6 millon subs in the United States and close to 20 million subs by 2014.

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