The long wait for WiMAX in the Windy City as well as the DFW Metroplex is over — as we expected, Clearwire is now selling services in both cities, keeping with the company’s strategy of “soft launching” markets online before staging an “official” market opening with all the attendant hoopla.
Since it’s Nov. 1, time for a new map — and the one on the Clear.com website now shows Chicago “in the green” of Clearwire services, while adding Dallas/Fort Worth to the list of cities with service in Texas.
In North Carolina, the cities of Charlotte, Raliegh and Greensboro are also now listed as "live," so it looks like Clearwire should be able to make good on its promise to step up subscriber numbers in Q4, simply by having lots more markets selling services.
The big ones, however, are Chicago and Dallas — two huge metro areas where Clearwire will see how it fares against existing service providers. In Chicago, Clearwire also has its first true “commuter” city, since thousands there ride the rails every day, to and from work, play, school and in just general getting-aroundness. Will WiMAX’s ability to connect while mobile make a big impression? We are only now just going to find out.
We’ll have some more thinking on Clearwire market launches later this week. And yes, the launches mean that Sprint’s 4G services are available there too. Meanwhile, more detail from the Chicago maps below.