Despite efforts of making 2008 “the year of WiMAX” the mobile technology has yet to take off as a strong alternative to existing Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. The mobile broadband service from Clearwire particularly has been available only in Portland and Baltimore so far, but the company has some big expansion plans up its sleeve, even as their financial losses pile up amid the troubled economic climate.
In an earnings report this week, Clearwire announced that it expects to have its WiMAX service up and running in 80 markets by 2010, with Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle all getting a roll out in 2009. The Clear service should deliver average download speeds of 2 to 4 megabits per second. The company is also leveraging its partnership with Intel and other industry giants to have nearly 100 WiMAX enabled mobile devices on the market by the end this year.
Meanwhile, Nokia is ramping up its efforts to introduce WiMAX competitor LTE (an evolution of existing WCDMA/HSPA networks) to US customers, and plans to launch devices supporting those networks in 2010.