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Comcast launched mobile WiMAX service, yesterday in Atlanta, following an earlier launch this month in Portland, Oregon.

Comcast, the nation’s largest MSO with 24.6 million cable customers, has invested just north of $1B in Clear. Time Warner Cable, the 2nd largest cable operator in the U.S. with 14.7 million customers in 27 states, has invested $550 million on Clearwire’s network while Bright House Networks has invested 100 million.

TWC, Comcast and Brighthouse will likely integrate mobile WiMax in a service package with its cable modem service.

Comcast is selling two different data cards and service plans:

  • Comcast High-Speed 2go Metro service uses provides a USB dongle for WimAX service within the 4G metro coverage area.
  • Comcast High-Speed 2go Nationwide service delivers both metro 4G service plus coast-to-coast access on Sprint’s national 3G network. The 3g/4G dongle automatically switches between available Clear and ‘s 3G networks.

The $49.99 Fast Pack Metro service includes Comcast’s 12 Mbps home Internet service, a free WiFi router for mobility and extended coverage in the home, and 4G service that will provide up to 4 Mbps download speed when customers are on the go. For an additional $20 per month, consumers can upgrade to the Fast Pack Nationwide service that includes the same services plus nationwide 3G mobile network access.

Time Warner Cable expects to launch WiMax services in four markets before the end of the year, starting this fall in Charlotte, N.C., and Dallas, reports Unstrung.

“You will hear a lot more about this as we build up to the launch this fall,” said TWC president and CEO Glenn Britt, who revealed the news this morning during the MSO’s second-quarter earnings call. He didn’t name the other two markets being planned.

“Cord cutting is real,” TWC chief operating officer Landel Hobbs said, wondering if that would change once the economy improves. But the trend puts credence in the company’s decision to pursue a wireless strategy, he said.

So far the cable operators have been content to ride on the Clear infrastructure, which mainly uses cellular towers and rooftops. The elephant in the room may be the Comcast/TWC infrastructure, which could potentially hang mobile Wimax hotspots and lower backhaul costs.

BTW, posting is light this week since I’m traveling down the Oregon coast and wireless connectivity is (happily) sparce.

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