Sprint, Clearwire Fire Up 4G in LA
Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) today flipped the switch on mobile WiMax services in Los Angeles -- two days ahead of schedule -- and launched in five other markets, which will be seen as the latest shots fired in the US FauxG mobile broadband battle.
WiMax services from the two operators are now available in L.A. and Miami, as well as Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, Sprint launched its 4G service in Washington, D.C.
Clearwire and Sprint also announced that the launch date for San Francisco will be December 28, which is on schedule according to the operators' plans for commercial services in "late December." (See Clearwire Sets Big City 4G Launch Dates .)
Why this matters
The FauxG battle in the US is well and truly underway as Verizon Wireless is about to launch its much-anticipated Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 38 markets next month; MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) has already started offering LTE services in some markets; and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile US Inc. rev their 3G networks to up-to-21Mbit/s speeds. So, coverage will be important in these early days of next-gen mobile broadband access in the US. (See Verizon Confirms December LTE Launch , MetroPCS Beats Verizon to LTE in Sin City, and AT&T Confirms Move to 21Mbit/s HSPA+.)
Sprint, which uses the mobile WiMax network that Clearwire is building, says its 4G service is now available in 68 US markets. Clearwire notes that those 68 markets represent coverage of 103 million people in the country.
Here's Sprint's explanation for why it claims to have the only "true 4G" network in the US:
For more on next-gen mobile broadband in the US and the battle of FauxG, please see these stories:
- T-Mobile's HSPA+ Rivals Clearwire, US LTE Speeds
- CTIA 2010: Verizon Ups LTE Launch to 38 Cities
- Verizon Breathing Down Sprint's 4G Neck
- MetroPCS: The City Limits of 4G
- MetroPCS Saddles Up LTE in Dallas
- AT&T Speeds Up 80% of Its 3G Network
- 4G World: Faster 3G in US – Charting HSPA+
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile