Clearwire has been offering 4G hotspots for use with its WiMax network for a while—often teaming up with operators like Time Warner and Sprint—but now the company is looking to tap into the legions of folks using Apple mobile devices. Clearwire’s new iSpot offers 4G WiMax connectivity for up to eight WiFi-enabled Apple devices like iPads, iPhones, and the iPod touch, all for a no-contract, flat-rate $25-per-month access charge. And unlike AT&T’s iPhone data plans, Clear’s WiMax access does not have a usage cap.
“With the iSpot, Apple customers don’t have to sort through confusing service plans with overage fees, nor do they have to worry about how much data they’re using,” said Clearwire senior VP of marketing Thomas Enraght-Moony, in a statement. “Instead, with Clear, customers can run all of their Apple mobile devices at true broadband speeds for a single, simple monthly fee.”
The iSpot itself costs $99.99, which is on par with the Clear Spot 4G and less expensive than the Clear Spot 4G+ (which drops to 3G if WiMax service isn’t available) for $224.99. However, the Clear iSpot is restricted to devices running Apple’s iOS: while that does mean users can stream Netflix to their iPads, use Skype on their iPhones, and engage in a number of other compelling activities, they won’t be able to use the device with PCs, notebooks, or even Apple Macintosh computers. However, some reports have Clear willing to unlock the iSpot and let other devices connect to the WiMax network…although that will entail upgrading to the standard $40/month Clear Spot 4G plan.
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