Clearwire Communications today announced a press preview of CLEAR’s 4G service in Las Vegas on July 20 & 21, 2009, ahead of the company’s official market launch event on the evening of July 21.
Clearwire will showcase the CLEAR 4G mobile Internet service for members of the media and industry analysts, including product demos, mobility demonstrations and interviews with local market and company executives. A consumer event will be held at Town Square Mall, 6605 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2009.
Las Vegas is the third major market that Clear has launched under its own name. Atlanta launched Clear’s Mobile WiMAX on June 16th while Portland launched Mobile WiMAX in January of this year. Sprint Nextel’s XOHM-branded Baltimore market is expected to come under Clear’s wing sometime this year.
In 2009 Clear is also expected to launch in Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Philadelphia, and convert existing pre-WiMAX markets in Seattle, Honolulu and Charlotte, N.C., to mobile WiMAX.
By 2010, Clearwire projects 4.6 millon subs in the United States and close to 20 million subs by 2014.
Other flagship WiMAX operators include:
- Japan’s UQ Communications launched commercial service on July 1 and plans to cover Japan in the next few years. UQ is the first major mobile WiMAX operator to use fractional frequency reuse, which can eliminate typical ‘3-frequency’ operation. UQ is the only company that has a nationwide approach for their 2.5 GHz spectrum and expects to have more than 90 percent population coverage by 2012. Partner cellco KDDI (with a 35% share), will start their LTE build-out in 2012.
- On September, 2008 Scartel launched of the first Russian Yota Mobile WiMAX network. It is now offering services in three regions, including Moscow and St Petersburg, and claims it is carrying more data already than all the cellcos combined. Yota’s WiMAX system is using Samsung base stations exclusively. Other WiMax networks are being launched in various regions in Russia by Enfortas, Synterra, Start-Telecom, Comstar-UTS, and Media-Net.
- The WiMAX Forum forecasts that India will have 19 million WiMAX subscribers by 2012, or 20% of the world’s WiMAX user base while Gartner says India will have 6.9 Million mobile and fixed WiMAX connections by the End of 2011. According to the WiMAX Forum, India’s spectrum auction will enable two 20 MHz blocks in both the 2.3 and 2.5 GHz bands. Indian state-owned operators, BSNL or MTNL, have had early access to 3.5 GHz WiMAX spectrum ahead of coming auctions in the 2.1 and 2.5 GHz bands. BSNL WiMAX is expanding throughout India’s fastest-growing telecom circles: Gujarat, Maharashstra and Goa, and Andhra Pradesh. Tata Communications (TCL) has signed up 50,000 subscribers for its fixed WiMAX service in the 3.3 GHz band.
- Korea Telecom is rolling out voice-over-WiBro this year. KT’s Wave 2 network is expected to start commercial operation in July while SK Telecom is targeting September. KT, which controls more than 90 percent of the fixed-line telephony market and about 44 percent of the broadband sector, had gathered about 206,000 customers for WiBro by the middle of 2008, while SK Telecom, the dominant cellular carrier, has a comparatively miniscule 2,000 WiBro subscribers. WiBro (now Mobile WiMAX) has been growing fast in South Korea. The country helped to define the Mobile standard and vendors like Samsung are based in South Korea.
- The National Communications Commission (NCC), Taiwan’s regulator, has given the go ahead to VMAX to start rolling out WiMAX base stations and related infrastructure in its licensed areas in the island’s northern region, with full commercial launch in Q3 of this year. The Taiwanese operator is deploying about 300 WiMAX base stations from Alvarion and Samsung with an initial budget of $29m. VMAX is expected to use a total of 1,200 base stations in the planned three-stage project.