Comcast's All Clear in Atlanta
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is keeping its promise to closely track Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s market launches with its own service packages that piggy-back on the mobile WiMax operator's networks.
Cable operator and Clearwire investor Comcast today announced that its "High-Speed 2go" wireless Internet service is now available in Atlanta. The service provider says that the network will deliver "up to 4 Mbit/s" wireless downlink speeds for users. (See Comcast Boots Up 'High-Speed 2go' and Comcast WiMaxes Atlanta.)
The cableco is buying wholesale access to the Clearwire network for the service. A Comcast spokesperson has already said, "You can assume where they go, so will we." (See Comcast Maxes Out in Portland.)
This suggests that Comcast might launch in cities like Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia in 2009. Clearwire is up and running commercialy in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Portland, Ore., at the moment. Unstrung is expecting that Dallas will be the next market it launches. (See This Week in WiMax.) In Atlanta, Comcast is offering a $49.99 "Fast Pack Metro," which includes Comcast’s 12-Mbit/s home Internet service, a free WiFi router for the home, and the WiMax service. For $20 more per month, Comcast is also offering access to Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s 3G network nationwide.
The plan comes with a free WiMax modem for customers that sign a one-year commitment, or they can buy their own card for $99. A dualmode 3G and WiMax modem costs $50 with a one-year commitment, or $230 without.
Sprint is also gearing up to launch its first services on top of Clearwire's network. The operator says it will start offering its "4G Now" service in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Portland on August 1.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung