Clearwire Details Plans to Roll Out WiMax Mobile Broadband in 2009

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Wireless broadband operator Clearwire has laid out its WiMax expansion plans for 2009 and beyond, saying the company plans to launch so-called 4G services in eight additional markets in 2009 and expand that out to 80 markets—and over 120 million potential customers—in 2010. Clearwire says it will being WiMax to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle during 2009, with New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Houston, and San Francisco first in line for WiMax service in 2010.

Clearwire already has WiMax services up and running in Baltimore and Portland, Oregon.

“In this difficult economic climate, our objective is to continue to balance the prudent use of our significant financial resources with our desire to take full advantage of the market opportunity that is in front of us, and we intend to do just that,” said Clearwire CEO Benjamin G. Wolff, in a statement. “This means retaining the flexibility to accelerate or decelerate our expansion based on our own successes and the macro economic environment. Our job is also to provide innovative products and services that give consumers more for less, which is more important than ever given the state of our economy.”

In addition to network expansion plans, Clearwire has also unveiled a new 3G/4G modem it plans to launch this summer that can transparently switch between WiMax and Sprint’s 3G data network, as well as a personal hotspot that should be available this month to enable Wi-Fi devices to access the Internet via WiMax. Clearwire says it expects nearly 100 mobile WiMax-enabled devices will be on the market by the end of 2009.