In what seems to be now a standard practice, the folks at Clearwire are launching markets by first making them available on their coverage map page, followed by “official” launches a month or so later. We are not sure of what the difference is — to us, a market is “officially” live when you start charging money for services. Anyway, even though you can order services there now, those new markets we told you about on Saturday will “officially” be open for business Sept. 1, according to a press release from Clearwire today.
Here’s the direct info from the press release:
Clearwire Communications, LLC, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation, (NASDAQ: CLWR) today announced the official launch day of CLEAR™ 4G service in Boise, Idaho; Bellingham, Wash.; and eight markets throughout Texas, including: Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Killeen/Temple, Waco and Wichita Falls will occur on September 1, 2009. CLEAR offers the first super fast mobile Internet service that works as fast on the go as it does at home. Customers in these new markets interested in experiencing CLEAR today can activate service now via clear.com.
Clearwire will celebrate the official launches in each market with local events, retail store openings, ad campaigns and promotional offers throughout the fall.
If you are still confused why this seems different from the leaked Sprint sales map, remember that Sprint (the majority owner of Clearwire) will resell Clearwire’s WiMAX services, since Sprint gave up all its WiMAX resources to make the merger creating the new Clearwire happen. (You can read that backstory here.) Sprint has said more than once that its plan is to resell WiMAX in Clearwire markets a little bit after each Clearwire launch — understandable becuase Sprint needs the time to set up billing back end systems, etc., especially for its hybrid 3G/4G services.
Still confused? Stay tuned. More reports on Clearwire and Sprint’s WiMAX business plans are on the way!