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McCaw Company Aims At Nationwide Wireless Broadband

The wireless entrepreneur unveiled his plans for a nationwide wireless broadband network based on the still-emerging 802.16, or WiMax, standard.
Wireless entrepreneur Craig McCaw on Wednesday unveiled his plans for a nationwide wireless broadband network.

McCaw officially launched his company, Clearwire, with the intent of developing a nationwide wireless broadband network based on the still-evolving 802.16, or WiMax standard. The launch came after the company spent two years in stealth mode, as McCaw acquired spectrum from other operators and acquired other companies, including wireless broadband equipment vendor NextNet.

The move also comes amid growing competition in the still-nascent wireless broadband arena, with a number of companies already offering the service even though standards have yet to receive final approval. However, McCaw said in a statement that he was optimistic about Clearwire's chances. "We come into this opportunity with our eyes open to the challenges and difficulties associated with competing against giants in the communications arena," McCaw said.

The company's Web site noted that it plans to launch service in Jacksonville, Fla., and St. Cloud, Minn., this summer with more markets, including international markets, launching soon.

Clearwire's Web site says the service will provide 1.5-Mbps download speeds. The company says that consumers can be online in 15 minutes or less and professional installation won't be required.

McCaw was an early wireless entrepreneur, starting a cellular phone that eventually became AT&T Wireless. He will serve as Clearwire's chairman and CEO.

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