Clearwire, together with partners and investors Comcast and Sprint, announced the expansion of its 4G WiMax-based wireless broadband network in the greater Puget Sound region to cover nearly 3 million residents in the area.
The companies said coverage for an additional 240,000 people, in communities including those on the Kitsap Peninsula, in Snohomish County and near Tacoma, has been added since Clearwire's initial launch in the market Dec. 1, 2009.
Enhanced capacity and expanded coverage covers the following Washington State communities: Bellevue, Edmonds, Elk Plain, Everett, Federal Way, Frederickson, Kirkland, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Marysville, Parkland, Puyallup, Renton, Seattle Hill-Silver Firs, Seattle, South Hill, Spanaway, Tacoma and Tukwila.
Comcast, a minority investor in Clearwire, has a wholesale agreement to offer Clearwire's 4G service as Xfinity Internet 2go wireless broadband. The MSO's strategy is to offer the service as part of a bundle with its wireline broadband.
"Comcast continues to drive innovation in the market by giving customers ways to extend its services to anywhere they work, live and play," Len Rozek, senior vice president of Comcast's Washington Region, said in a statement.
Clearwire is majority-owned by Sprint with investments from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Google and Intel.
As of the end of March, Clearwire had 6.15 million total subscribers. Of those, 79% (4.86 million) were wholesale subscribers, most of which were users of 3G/4G multimode devices, via partners including Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Locus Telecommunications, Cbeyond, Mitel and Best Buy.
Clearwire expects to end 2011 with approximately 9.5 million subscribers, mostly through wholesale partners. The Kirkland, Wash.-based company is scheduled to report second-quarter 2011 earnings on Aug. 3, 2011, after market close.
Clearwire advertises its WiMax network as providing average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 Megabits per second with bursts over 10 Mbps.
Clearwire is testing LTE, a different 4G technology, in trials in Phoenix. According to the company, initial results have shown download speeds up to 90 Mbps using 20-MHz channels and up to 50 Mbps using 10-MHz channels.