We are attending the Clearwire official launch of WiMax services in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, getting lots of fun stuff, videos and pictures. Good information too. Among the bits of info we will explore more later:
– Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff said the company will continue to experiment with pricing models in different markets, to find out where the sweet spot is for potential customers. So what is offered in Baltimore, for instance, may not be the same as Portland. A bit confusing, we think.
– Cable partner Comcast is expected to start reselling Clearwire wireless services (in Portland) later this year, as part of a services bundle. One twist to the MVNO contracts that was learned today: Cable partners like Comcast won’t be allowed to just offer the wireless service — it has to be part of a bundled offering.
– Still no word on when the next markets will launch, or where they will be. The list of Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas as probable candidates hasn’t changed, but no word from Clearwire on when the networks will be turned on.
– Lots more devices available for the network, including netbooks from Acer and Asus (one of which we are testing right now). A dual-mode USB modem for 3G/4G will be ready by mid-year, and Clearwire will also offer Voice services in Portland for $25 a month.
Again, more later. Overall, a pretty impressive event with national press and analysts in attendance as well as a lot of local media. The main press conference ended with a live video call to the city’s mayor, who accepted a gift of 25 free modems for use in Portland Police Cars.