Clearwire and Cisco have formed an alliance to expand WiMAX services throughout the U.S. and offer additional devices that will work with the WiMAX standard. Under the terms of the partnership, Cisco will provide the network backbone for Clearwire’s national WiMAX network. In addition, Cisco will build new mobile devices that are compatible with Clearwire’s Clear 4G mobile WiMAX service.
As you know, WiMAX provides wireless broadband Internet at speeds much faster than today’s 3G networks. Sprint and Clearwire combined their WiMAX assets in November; the new company is called Clearwire. Sprint is the majority owner of Clearwire with 51%.
Clearwire currently offers WiMAX services in Baltimore and
Portland and plans to launch its Clear 4G mobile service in more than 80 U.S.
markets by the end of 2010. Cisco is part of this multiyear built-out plan. Cities
mentioned for upcoming WiMAX service include Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago,
Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle. New York, Boston,
Washington, Houston, and the San Francisco area are expected to get the service
sometime in 2010.
As part of the multiyear agreement, Cisco will provide Clearwire with Internet equipment on a national basis. Cisco plans to develop devices for the WiMAX network that are targeted at consumers, small offices, and home offices as well as small and medium-sized businesses. Cisco plans to introduce its first WiMAX device later this year. In the future, Cisco's Linksys line of consumer routers are expected to include WiMAX- and Wi-Fi.
“Clearwire's ecosystem of partners, coupled with our all-IP next-generation network, will deliver a true mobile broadband experience,” said Ned Hooper, senior vice president, corporate development and consumer, of Cisco. “In addition, incorporating WiMAX into our products will help enable people to move freely throughout the United States, while maintaining continuous connectivity to personalized applications and services.”