When it comes to 4G services for the U.S., Sprint and Clearwire jumped on WiMAX as the technology of choice while all other mobile providers bet on LTE. The reasoning for Sprint and Clearwire was that WiMAX would be able to hit the market faster than LTE.
Considering that very few WiMAX installations have been implemented on the U.S. so far, the faster to implement prediction may prove false. So far, WiMAX is only being offered in a few areas of the country including Baltimore, MD and Portland, Oregon.
Clearwire has announced that its Clear WiMAX service is now available to customers in Atlanta, Georgia as well. Atlanta is now the largest metropolitan WiMAX service area in America. The Installation was made using Motorola WiMAX equipment and reportedly covers 1,200 square miles and serves about 3 million people.
Clearwire general manager Marc Brachman said, "By delivering broadband connectivity to people, and not just places, we now offer Atlantans the freedom to enjoy super-fast Internet access wherever they go in our coverage area. Whether it’s a small business owner looking to conduct online video chats with customers from the field or a person looking to access entertainment sites without being tied to a fixed-location, CLEAR delivers."
Clearwire says that customers in the area can enjoy broadband speeds of four to six Mbps downstream with bursts up to 15Mbps. To access the service a special $59.99 USB modem for notebooks and netbooks is needed with plans running about $40 per month or $10 for a day pass. Desktop users can get a modem for $79.99 or lease it for $4.99 monthly.
Clearwire says that it plans to roll out WiMAX service in Las Vegas later this summer and other cities will come online later in the year including Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Next year networks in Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Houston, and San Francisco are planned to launch. LTE networks are expected to be implemented next year as well by competitors to Sprint and Clearwire. Clearwire said last year that it expected to serve about 80 million customers in 2009.