Clearwire Launches in 10 New Markets

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) has started selling mobile services in eight smaller Texas towns and cities as well as in Boise, Idaho, and Bellingham, Wash., and says that services will officially be launched on Sept. 1.

A company spokesman says that the Clear mobile service is available now in these markets through its online sales channel. Official market launches will happen at the start of September, much as Clear did in Atlanta and Las Vegas. (See Clearwire to Launch in Vegas on 21st, Clearwire Goes Live in Atlanta, and Clear to Roam Beyond Vegas.)

The operator is going back to its Texas origins with the new launches. Back in 2002 before Craig McCaw was involved with the operation, the company, then called "Clearwire Technologies," was talking about using mobile broadband to unwire local neighborhoods. (See A Clearwire Timeline .) The Texan markets to be launched include:

  • Abilene
  • Amarillo
  • Corpus Christi
  • Lubbock
  • Midland/Odessa
  • Killeen/Temple
  • Waco
  • Wichita Falls
Clearwire says that it typically offers 3-Mbit/s to 6-Mbit/s download speeds over its WiMax network. The operator has just started to double the uplink speed that is typically offered to 1 Mbit/s. (See Clear Doubles Up in Oregon.)

Clearwire's move to launch a number of smaller markets answers a question that some had about how the operator would be in 80 markets by the end of 2010: Evidently not all of these are going to be major cities.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based operator has been working on its Texan strategy for a while. Unstrung first noted that Clearwire was busy hiring in Texas in November 2008. (See Clearwire on the Hiring Trail.)

The operator is expected to stay in the Lone Star State for its next major launch in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (See Clearwire Gearing Up for Dallas & Seattle?)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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