Clearwire Expands 4G Wireless Service

Richmond, Va., Salt Lake City, and St. Louis join the growing list to receive WiMax Internet coverage from Sprint/Clearwire.
Richmond, Va., Salt Lake City, and St. Louis are the latest cities to receive 4G wireless service from Sprint/Clearwire, a provider of wireless broadband for businesses and consumers, the companies announced Monday. The Clear service uses WiMax and provides Internet download speeds four times faster than 3G.

Clear is available with plans starting at $15 per month for a limited time, in an online-only mobile Internet promotion for Richmond-area customers, for the first two months after a $50 service credit. The provider is offering rate plans with no caps on data usage, said Mike Nash, regional general manager for Clear, in a statement announcing the 4G service.

Sprint also announced a 30-day free trial of 4G. If customers are not satisfied, they can cancel their service and be fully reimbursed, the company said. Sprint's recently released HTC EVO 4G phone is the first 3G/4G wireless phone in the United States.

Users with the Clear 4G service with dual-mode 4G/3G modems will stay connected through Sprint's 3G data network, the companies said. Sprint is the majority shareholder in Clearwire.

With the Monday launch, the Clear 4G service is now available in 36 cities across the United States, including: Atlanta and Milledgeville, Ga.; Baltimore; Boise, Idaho; Chicago; Las Vegas; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster, and York, Pa.; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, N.C.; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; Seattle and Bellingham, Wash.; Salem and Portland, Ore.; Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Waco, and Wichita Falls, Texas; and central Washington, D.C.

During the summer, Clear 4G will launch in Yakima, Wash.; Eugene, Ore.; Syracuse and Rochester, N.Y.; Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Merced, Visalia, Modesto, and Stockton, Calif.; Wilmington, Del.; and Grand Rapids, Mich. By the end of 2010, Clear 4G will also be available in New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.

Clearwire said its Clear 4G usage plans will not require long-term service contracts, and unlimited 4G coverage will start at $30 in most markets for residential service and unlimited mobile plans will start at $40.

In addition to Sprint, the Kirkland, Wash.-based Clearwire also has wholesale partnerships with Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Among its other investors are Intel Capital, Comcast, Google, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.