Best Buy to offer Clearwire's WiMAX service in 2011

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Earlier this month Best Buy announced it had struck a deal with Sprint to resell wireless phone and EV-DO service under the "Best Buy Connect" brand. Today, they are expanding upon their planned offerings through a wholesale deal with Clearwire that will allow them to rent space on the latter's WiMAX network and sell their own 4G services.

The electronics retailer is the first company apart from Clearwire investors like Comcast and Time Warner Cable to announce that it will market this service. According to the announcement, however, a rollout isn't expected until sometime in 2011. The idea behind Best Buy Connect is to give customers the convenience of one-stop shopping for devices, service activation, billing and customer support. No pricing details were announced, though hopefully Best Buy will make their offers more compelling by offering subsidized netbooks and other hardware deals to subscribers.

Naturally, the number of cities where the retailer will be able to offer Clearwire's WiMAX service will depend on how fast the network can be rolled out in more cities. Currently, Clearwire's WiMAX service is available in 36 cities and is expected to reach 24 more by the end of the year.

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