Sprint and Clearwire announced that their joint WiMax network will launch in New York City on November 1, in Los Angeles on December 1, and in San Francisco later in December.
Though WiMax has been flickering on and off across New York City and other markets as Sprint and Clearwire test their technology, the 4G network has yet to fully launch in the two largest markets in the U.S. That changes in a few weeks, when Sprint turns on WiMax across all of New York City on November 1.
Sprint, Clearwire and their reseller partner Time Warner Cable on Monday announced that New York City will finally have access to WiMax 4G just two weeks from now. The companies will each sell their own branded versions of WiMax services and equipment starting shortly after the network launch. Sprint says that it will expand its WiMax footprint throughout the NYC metro region quickly following the launch, but falls short of saying exactly what areas will be covered.
Clearwire has already commenced sales of 3G/4G modems in the NYC and LA metro areas. These devices are being sold to "early adopters" looking to jump onto WiMax before the full roll-outs take place. Clearwire has made clear to those early adopters that WiMax is not 100% operational in these markets, but some towers are up and running and it's possible that users will find signal in and around town.
Further, Clearwire is building a branded retail store in at the Queens Center Mall in Queens, N.Y. Clearwire confirmed, "In addition, during this construction phase, owners of Clear 4G devices may also experience 4G coverage while traveling to other cities that Clearwire plans to launch commercially later this year, including: San Francisco; Tampa, Miami, and Orlando, Fla.; Nashville, Denver, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh."
How much will everything cost? Well, the equipment prices vary, but unlimited service will cost $35 for the first two months, and then $55 per month for the 22 months remaining on the mandatory two-year contract. Clearwire insists that unlimited means unlimited. There is no 5GB monthly data cap as there is on Sprint's 3G network. Right now, the companies have not clarified if these preliminary plans will remain available after the full launch.
In addition to New York City, Sprint and Clearwire will launch WiMax 4G in Los Angeles on December 1 and San Francisco a few weeks later. By the end of 2010, the 4G network is also expected to be available in other major metropolitan areas such as Denver, Miami, Cincinnati and Cleveland.
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