WiMAX Service Launched in Portland

Portland became the first American city to get Clear-branded WiMAX service on January 6 – Clearwire calls Portland “the fastest unwired city in the West.. Clearwire recently gained control of Sprint’s Xohn network to provide Clear-branded WiMAX service. Portland and Baltimore, MD are the only two pure WiMAX networks in the United States so far, with Baltimore still operating under the Xohm name.

 “Today is a historic day for the evolution of mobile computing and communications services in Portland, and the U.S.,” said Benjamin G. Wolff, Clearwire CEO. “Clearwire is reinventing wireless by delivering an unmatched combination of Internet speed and mobility. We’re providing a valuable service designed to improve our customers’ productivity and make their lives more enjoyable, wherever they happen to be in our coverage area.”

Clearwire announced in early December that they have raised $3.2 billion for a nationwide WiMAX network, from Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google, and Bright House Networks. WiMAX offers wireless broadband acess, data and telecommunications services, and portable connecvity. Clearwire had made some enthusiastic plans to upgrade its 46 pre-WiMAX markets in the near future, there has been speculation that upcoming WiMAX deployments might be slowed due to the financial crisis. Clear offers residential users wireless service with no installation, and mobile users only  need to plug in a mobile WiMAX-enabled USB modem to their laptop.  Many computer companies are announcing embedded WiMAX technology compatible with the Clear network in teh first half of 2009. Sprint is reselling access to its 3G network to Clear, which will allow 4G WiMAX devices to work even where there is no WiMAX.

Grand opening events are happening at Portland’s three Clearwire retail stores on Saturday, January 10, with gift certificates and prize draws occuring. The stores are located at: 15th and Broadway, 92nd and Sunnyside (Clackamas Promenade), and Burnside and 23rd Place (Uptown Shopping Center).