Clearwire Expand WiMAX to Five more Regions? Why?


Clearwire recently launched their WiMAX service in five smaller markets including Stockton and Modesto, Calif., Jackson, Fla., Wilmington, Del., and Grand Rapids, Mich, bringing commercial operations to 49 cities to date. The operator is moving forward aggressively with its launch plans and plans to increase its presence, announcing a wholesale deal with Best Buy last week.

CLEAR’s  customers in the new regions who sign up for service online can get a 50% discount on service for the first two months, with overnight shipping included and no activation fee.

Not sure how or why CLEAR expanding to the new market while many of their existing customers can’t even connect to the Internet.

The comments and feedback we’ve  been getting on Awesome DC about Clearwire WiMax services, haven’t been really positive. Take a look at this one from the user Irina on one of our earlier coverage as an example. She is in a sixth floor of a building in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. where CLEAR recently expanded their services to. She can’t even get a signal.

Irina says:
August 4, 2010 at 9:45 am (Edit)
“I just bought their Broadband service for my new place which is on 6th floor of one of the apartment building in North of Dupont Circle. I have had it for more than a day now ans still waiting for a signal to connect to the Net. Thank God, I have two weeks to return it ”

That is just one out of hundreds we’ve seen on our site.  Anyone else experiencing similar problem?

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

10 Responses to Clearwire Expand WiMAX to Five more Regions? Why?

  1. Amitava Mitra says:

    I am in Arlington, VA, here comcast has almost a monopoly, i was thinking of trying Clear, on hearing Irina’s comments I am not sure if it is worth trying ……i hear rumors that comcast is going to offer wimax too

    • Jeff T says:

      I have had it for about 2 month since they have been offering it in DC. The only time I have problem is in my basement where my home office is. Other than that, it works like a champ. very fast. I had to move my home office to the 2nd floor though.

      • Keith J says:

        Jeff,
        You can position Clearire modem on the second floor and attach it to the Wi-Fi router.
        As these are all wireless devices, they should be fairely easy to reposition.

      • Keith J says:

        I had Clear service for 8 months now and enjoy it very much. I get 5-6 Mbps download consistenly.
        I also have poor reception in the basement. So, I have Clearwire modem in 2nd floor and have it conected to a Wi-Fi router.
        As they are all wireless devices, repositioning them is a snap.
        Hope it helps,

  2. JohnM says:

    I am in an area of NV that is on the edge of the minimum service area on the Clear coverage map. This is defined by Clear as an area where you should be mobile, not indoors. I am not only indoors, I am behind metal-tinted glass, so our signal strength is normally quite low for most cellular operators.

    I tested the speed of Clear and got 1.27 Mbps down/0.1 Mbps up. I think this is quite respectable for an edge-of-coverage location and in-building.

  3. Keith J says:

    I use Clear service in Chicago and I am very happy with the service.
    I also have poor reception in the basement, so I have Clearwire modem on the second floor and connected to a Wi-Fi router.
    WIth this setup, I can access internet from anywhere in my house.

  4. KM says:

    A few thoughts…. yes, Comcast is going to offer it. They are a major investor in Clear and are already selling it in some markets. 2nd, it is not a perfect system and simply because your house falls into a “blob of coverage” on a map created by a marketing rep, don’t expect perfect signal. It is worth trying and like most RF based services, it may need some tweaking at your exact location for it to work well (remember rabbit ears?). 3rd, yes it makes sense to expand and grow your selling area by millions of new potential customers even though you have hundreds of thousands currently not served perfectly. Unfortunately, investors are more attracted to future opportunity, not current reliability. 4th and more of a side note, I think these type of announcements are funny since they have been selling in the Stockton/Modesto area since 2005 and have had the product in Best Buy since at least 2007. Hand it to marketing to make a couple of changes and re-package the whole thing.

  5. Andre Fourie says:

    We manufacture a 14-18 dBi window mount (suckers) antenna for 2, 3 and 5 GHz WiMAX. These come with short cable to connect to the modem and does magic for fringe areas or if you are on the wrong side of the building. This “wrong side of building” is a problem all service providers in the 2GHz up band will have to come to grips with. Building penetration at these frequencies are really poor. I feel strongly that at least window mount directional antennas are a must for “fixed wireless”. In South Africa we have seen massive uptake of these antennas for 1.8-2.2 GHz 3G services which are often here used in fixed locations (rather than mobile).

    For the user the advantage is much better data rates and consistent performance – see reference earlier to “bunny ears” – this is why people stopped using indoor TV antennas ages ago and just simply install an outdoor antenna from the word go – you want reliability in a fixed installation. For the operator a proper antenna to connect his fixed users imply better spectral efficiency and hence capacity. The higher coding schemes associated with stronger signal means that larger number of users can be serviced given a specific data rate requirement. In fact, one can show that if you have about 50 users linked to a WiMAX base station (or other 3G/4G technology) and about 10% of those are linking at lowest speed then that 10% will consume more than 50% of base station capacity. Getting fixed users connected with good signal strength is hence a win-win for both operator and user and, in my opinion, this requires gain antennas preferably mounted outdoors.

  6. Irina says:

    Update: “Clear internet is working at fuuuul speeeed! Tip for new customers: if you can’t set it up on your own, make a call and they are fast to send technician to set it up for you at no cost. So far i like the speed.”

  7. Not the best article I’ve seen. Quoting one person who doesn’t have any signal, maybe because of not properly installing the device is irrelevant. If you really wanna do something usefulness, try to do a deeper summary on how many clients Clearwire has, how many are signing in each day and how many are complaining/quiting… otherwise your article is totally useless and somehow ridiculous.
    It is excellent for mass market propaganda by for sure irrelevant for a technical forum.

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