Clearwire Sets NYC, L.A., SF Launches

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Clearwire announced the timing for the commercial launch of its 4G network in New York City, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, amid the prospect that the wireless provider will sell a portion of its spectrum to raise more cash to fund its ongoing buildout.
The company -- whose investors include Sprint Nextel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Google and Intel -- said it will debut 4G service in New York City on Nov. 1; in Los Angeles on Dec. 1; and in San Francisco in late December.
Time Warner Cable will resell the service in New York, while San Francisco is Comcast territory. Sprint and Clearwire will market the services in all three markets, the companies said; TWC was not named as participating in the L.A. launch.
Clearwire is looking to raise between $2.5 billion and $5 billion by selling as much as 40-MHz slices out of its 2.5-GHz wireless spectrum holdings, Bloomberg reported last week. Bidders are said to include AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Sprint and T-Mobile, according to the news service. Clearwire had previously told investors it might attempt to sell spectrum.
Currently, Clearwire's 4G network is commercially available in 56 markets covering 66 million people, not including New York, L.A. or San Francisco. It has previously said it expects to cover up to 120 million people with its 4G network by the end of 2010.
Clearwire said it will continue to offer dual-mode 4G/3G USB modems in New York City and Los Angeles in advance of the launch of commercial service. The company said it would provide additional details on these and other upcoming markets -- including network size, coverage maps and service options -- when the services launch.
The Kirkland, Wash.-based company had 1.7 million total subscribers as of June 30. Clearwire's current network is based on WiMax, but the company also plans to test Long Term Evolution technology starting this fall in Phoenix.

Clearwire's postpaid Clear service is $30 per month for home users and $40 per month for mobile users. This summer the company launched a prepaid service, called Rover, priced at $5 per day, $20 per week (seven consecutive days), or $50 per month (30 consecutive days) for unlimited 4G internet usage.