Clear Is in Atlanta

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) is now selling mobile WiMax service in Atlanta, just ahead of its earnings report for the first quarter of 2009, which will be released Wednesday afternoon.

Clearwire has posted a coverage map for Atlanta on its Clear.com mobile WiMax site. The wimax.com blog says that service is now available and Atlanta residents can sign up for it via the Clearwire site.

Clearwire confirmed to Unstrung that it is selling service online ahead of a summer launch. Brick-and-mortar store openings, advertising, and other market activities will be a part of the full commercial launch.

Unstrung reported back in March that Atlanta was quite possibly the next city that Clearwire would launch mobile WiMax in after its initial deployment in Portland, Ore. (See Clearwire: Tight Tier 1 Focus .) It is an open secret that Clearwire has been hiring in Atlanta for some time now. (See Clearwire Hiring in Atlanta & Vegas.)

If Clearwire follows its own schedule this means that Las Vegas is next on the list for the Clear mobile WiMax service. "This summer we'll be expanding to Las Vegas and Atlanta," then-Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff said in March.

The operator couldn't offer updates on the status of Vegas yet.

In total, Clearwire is expected to launch nine commercial mobile WiMax markets under the "Clear" brand in 2009. Five of these will be new markets, and will likely include Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Further activity this year will include converting major Clearwire fixed-wireless markets in Seattle, Honolulu, and Charlotte, N.C., to mobile WiMax. The firm is also expecting to relaunch the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) Xohm market in Baltimore with "better coverage" before year's end.

Sprint, meanwhile, plans to resell Clearwire's WiMax services under its own "Sprint 4G" and "4G Now" branding.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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