It looks like Clearwire is starting to show how it plans to get to those 80 promised markets over the next year and a half — namely, by adding its new mobile WiMAX services to cities where it previously offered its pre-WiMAX services, including Boise, Idaho, Lubbock, Texas, and several others.
An alert tipster emailed us this morning (with the tender message, “yo, homeslice!”) and told us to check out the new Clear coverage maps, which now go beyond the high-profile launches of Portland, Ore., Atlanta, Baltimore and Las Vegas to include:
Corpus Christi, TX
So that makes 12 markets with the new “Clear” 4G services, plus the Sprint “Xohm” operations in Baltimore. If you’re counting (and we are) that’s WiMAX 13, LTE 0, HSPA+ 0. (It’s WiMAX 14 if you count DigitalBridge’s mobile WiMAX in Jackson Hole, Wyo. And we will!)
If you look at the maps some of these new markets are likely being covered by just a few towers — no harm there, and Clearwire should be able to add the new “Clear” services as quickly as it takes them to install equipment in these previously served areas, since they probably don’t need to spend time getting new tower permits, etc., which (so Clearwire says) is the lengthiest part of any market launch.
Any more “homeslices” out there who can tell us if Clearwire is offering any deep discounts to switch users over to the new service? Chime in on the comments!
UPDATE: Looks like there is lots of interest in new WiMAX markets, given the heat generated by this apparently dated Sprint market launch table being featured on Engadget. As we said there in a comment, this list is probably a dated plan for Sprint’s publicly stated rollout schedule, which roughly trails Clearwire’s market launches (since Sprint resells Clearwire’s WiMAX services). And the small cities are current Clearwire pre-WiMAX markets, see explanation above for why they are getting mobile WiMAX before New York and LA.
Still confused? Start reading, beginning with our Clearwire NTK report. You’ll be up to WiMAX speed in no time at all.