Clearwire Wireless has announced plans to expand its WiMAX mobile broadband network to eight major markets in 2009 including Philadelphia, according to a press release.
Currently, the service is available in Portland and Baltimore, and offers download speeds up to 4Mbps and upload speeds of 384Kbps. Unlimited browsing starts at $50 per month and on the lower end of its pricing tiers, a 24-hour pass is offered for $10. Clearwire has a number of devices that support its WiMAX network, including a modem for home networks and a USB modem for on-the-go use.
While we’re stoked about next generation mobile broadband access in Philadelphia, WiMAX faces tough competition from Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, another next gen mobile broadband solution. The battle between the two network technologies is the mobile equivalent of Blu-ray versus HD-DVD.
ClearWire’s acquisition by Sprint Nextel was a major boon for WiMAX, and the company is backed by a combined $3.2 billion investment from cable operators Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, along with Intel and Google, as CNET reported last year.
But that may not be enough. Verizon announced plans last month to roll out the first LTE network in the U.S., and Wednesday, a Nokia executive backed LTE over WiMAX, calling LTE the preferred mobile broadband technology after [current 3G networks]. Previously, Nokia, which owns 37 percent of the global market share for mobile devices, had shown support for WiMAX, having created mobile devices for demonstration on ClearWire’s WiMAX network.