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WiMax About to Expand to Las Vegas

Four big cities will be online with the Clear 4G service by end of July, with 80 the target by end of 2010

A fourth big city comes online with WiMax this month.

Clearwire Communications will kick off Clear, its “super fast mobile Internet service,” in Las Vegas on July 21.

Last month the company opened service in Atlanta, promising to make that city “the fastest unwired city in the South.” The company hopes to offer Clear in 80 markets by the end of next year.

The promise is access to the Internet wirelessly, “at true broadband speeds — at home, in the office, and on the go.” Clearwire promises a mobile broadband Internet experience on par with speeds typically found on fixed residential and commercial connections, like DSL.

“For example, some of today’s 3G wireless networks typically deliver download speeds of between 1.0 and 1.7 Mbps. Clear customers, however, can expect to see download speeds of 4 to 6 Mbps with bursts exceeding 15 Mbps, far surpassing even the peak theoretical speeds of 7.2 Mbps in upcoming 3G upgrades.”

Mobile WiMAX is also available in Baltimore and Portland, Ore. Markets planned this year include Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle. Next year’s plans include New York, Boston, Washington, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Investors in the company include Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Reporting on this month’s launch to consumers in Las Vegas, a report by the IDG News Service notes, “Mobile WiMax is based on an already-completed standard and is being deployed by a number of service providers around the world. But the technology will need to share the market for fast 4G (fourth-generation) mobile data with LTE (Long-Term Evolution). There are no major commercial LTE networks today, but that technology has been chosen by many of the world’s mobile operators.”