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Clear Spots Bring WiMax to Mobile Hotspots

WiMax operator Clear has announced three new products designed to help folks get their computers and WI-Fi devices (like, you know, iPads and smartphones) onto the company’s 4G WiMax network. The new Clear Spot 4G, Clear SPot 4G+, and Clear Spot 4G+ Mobile USB modem are intended to let customers take advantage of WiMax 4G connectivity where it’s available—and two of those solutions will also tap into 3G data networks in areas WiMax hasn’t reached.

“In today’s on-the-go world, everyone deserves fast speeds and the usage they want at a fair price—without constantly checking their usage or worrying about their end-of-month bill,” said Clearwire product development VP Dow Draper, in a statement. “These new devices offer today’s mobile user, and the millions of Wi-Fi products in use across the country, even greater access to Clear’s fast and affordable 4G service.”

The simplest of the bunch is the Clear Spot 4G, which weighs just 4.5 ounces and enables up to 8 Wi-Fi devices to connect to the Internet via 4G WiMax. Folks who don’t like carrying around wall warts will be interested to know the Clear Spot 4G is battery-powered—Clear says folks can expect four to five hours of use off a single charge. (Folks can recharge via wall power or via USB; an optional car charger will also be available.) The device supports WEP, WPA, WPA2 Wi-Fi security to make sure no one uses it without your permission, and should provide Wi-Fi service up to 150 feet away from the device. The Clear SPot 4G will be available for $99.99 or for a $.99 monthly lease; pre-orders are available now, and customers should start receiving the devices July 7. Users will need to sign up for two years of 4G service: the two options are a $44.99 per month plan (unlimited data, lease included, capped at 6 Mbps), or $64.99 a month (unlimited data, no bandwidth cap, lease included).

The Clear Spot 4G+ os a similar deal, except that it handles five devices and can also tap into 3G networks in areas where 4G WiMax isn’t available—handy if you plan to take the gizmo on the road. The Clear Sport 4G+ will run $224.99 or $5.99 per month to lease; plans range from $60.00 to $80.98 per month. Expect to see it in July.

Clear has also announced the Clear 4G+ Mobile USB modem, which will automatically switch to Sprint’s 3G mobile data network in areas 4G WiMax isn’t available. (Clear already offers 4G-only USB modems). The Clear 4G+ Mobile USB modem works with PCs and Macs (Mac OS X 10.5.x or newer) for $114.99, or on lease for $5.99 per month, and should be available July 1.

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