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3/17/2009
07:52 PM
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Comcast To Offer WiMax Service

The cable company will likely resell Clearwire's product as part of a "quadruple play" that offers cable, home phone, residential Internet, and mobile broadband services.

Comcast plans to launch a mobile Internet service in Portland, Ore., by the middle of this year by reselling Clearwire's WiMax service, the company said this week.

The cable company's chief operating officer Stephen Burke told The Oregonian it would purchase the mobile broadband service wholesale, and likely bundle it along with its cable, home phone, and residential Internet services.

WiMax is the next generation of mobile broadband service, and it offers users a theoretical 75 Mbps on the go. While the real-life speeds aren't as high, it does have higher mobile connectivity than existing options.

Comcast, along with Intel, Google, and Sprint, have invested in Clearwire, but the cable company is a potential competitor with the WiMax operator. Both will soon offer a high-speed home Internet connection as well as a mobile connectivity option. Clearwire charges about $70 for monthly Internet access at home and on the go, but it's unclear how much Comcast's service will cost.

Clearwire, which is still struggling to post a profit, recently announced a rollout plan for a national WiMax network that would cover 120 million people by the end of 2010. The company is hoping to press its time-to-market advantage before 4G networks based on Long Term Evolution technology are deployed.

Most of the major mobile operators have chosen LTE for its 4G network due to its higher theoretical speeds, and compatibility with existing network infrastructure. Verizon Wireless has already announced its aggressive LTE deployment plans, and it's aiming to cover 25 to 30 markets by the end of next year.


LTE Vs. WiMax won't be the typical winner-take-all showdown. Learn what each brings to the race (registration required).

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