Atlanta's Clear WiMAX launch only weeks away

William T. Morrow, CEO, ClearwireSprint's and Clearwire's WiMAX joint venture Clear is expected to gain 15 new markets by the end of 2010. Following up on the announcement that the company had aligned with Cisco for infrastructure, Clearwire confirmed the next 4G connected city will be Atlanta.

CEO William T. Morrow said in Clearwire's earnings call, "We remain on track to launch our next two markets this summer. In June, we'll be expanding to Atlanta, adding nearly 3 million people to the Clear coverage footprint in a city that will be our largest market to date. With the network covering upwards of 1,200 square miles, we have validated that we can design and deliver large scale markets with our low cost network architecture, another key differentiator for Clearwire. And as with all of our pre-WiMAX markets, we are utilizing a hybrid approach of microwave rings and dark fiber across approximately 90% of our sites. We believe that this is the lowest cost, most scalable back haul approach to transport the immense 4G data payload from our sales side."

Morrow continued, "We have been readying Atlanta distribution channels, building up six retail outlets, hiring and training sales teams and engaging national players, including Best Buy and Radio Shack."

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Widespread availability of consumer equipment will make Atlanta's launch vastly different from the Baltimore deployment in which Sprint initially only sold equipment through neighborhood computer repair shops or through its Web site.

Las Vegas is the next city in Clearwire's rollout plans, Morrow said, with a late summer launch planned there. "Network construction and preparation of our sales channels [in Las Vegas] is also progressing."

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