So far, Clearwire has only launched WiMax 4G mobile services in Baltimore, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Portland Oregon, but the company keeps saying it plans to activate additional markets in the near future. Today, the company announced ten more locations that are in line for WiMax services, with two online today and eight more coming September 1. But they aren’t exactly major metropolitan areas: Bellingham, Washington and Boise Idaho get their WiMax today, while eight Texas markets—including Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Killeen/Temple, Waco, and Wichita Falls—are set to be activated September 1.
Clearwire still says it plans to launch WiMax service in additional markets during 2009, including Seattle, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, and Philadelphia. Major areas scheduled for 2010 include Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Clearwire says it will be able to offer WiMax services to up to 120 million people in 80 markets by the end of 2010.
WiMax technology—so-called 4G mobile connectivity—brings mobile broadband capability with bandwidths comparable to DSL. Outside of WiMax service areas, Clear’s offerings typically drop back to 3G capabilities offered by Sprint’s existing mobile data network. An increasing number of electronics manufacturers are aiming to integrate WiMax capabilities into their mobile devices, and Clearwire is also marketing the service as a home broadband solution.
WiMax’s primary competitor will likely be LTE, under development with Verizon and AT&T now that 700MHz spectrum space has been cleared with the shutdown of analog television broadcasts. U.S. mobile carrier Verizon has recently accelerated its efforts to roll out LTE service.