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4G/3G/WiFi

Clearwire Launches in Seattle, Opens Retail Stores

Freshly funded mobile WiMax operator Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) has launched service in Seattle and opened a number of retail stores around the U.S.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based operator says that its mobile WiMax service is now available in 27 markets across the U.S., covering over 30 million people and meeting its deployment targets for 2009. The company recently pulled in over $2 billion in new equity and debt funding and says it will meet its target of covering 120 million people by the end of 2010. (See Clearwire Grabs $920M More Funds.)

Clearwire's partners are following the company's rollout curve, offering their own services on the WiMax service. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has launched its "2Go" mobile service in Chicago using the network. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is offering its "4G" service in every Clearwire market, including launches today in Chicago, Seattle, and, in Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui.

Clearwire, meanwhile, has greatly increased its retail efforts for the "Clear" WiMax service. The company says it now has stores in Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas; Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, N.C.; Chicago; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; and Seattle/Puget Sound.

UBS AG analyst, John Hodulik, gave the operator another boost this morning, upping his rating on the stock to "Neutral" from "Sell," thanks to the recent influx of extra funding for the company.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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