Clearwire To Sell WiMAX Services In Best Buy Next Year

WiMAX is still a fledgling service in America. Even though Sprint and Clearwire have invested tons of money in the 4G service, it's still spotty at best and only available in a few locations. But as with anything, it grows in time, and there's no better way to really grow than to get your service in the faces of consumers. And there's hardly a better way to get in the faces of consumers than to get into Best Buy.

Best Buy and Clearwire just unveiled a new relationship that will enable the big box retailer to sell 4G services to consumers, which could lead to a sharp increase in mind share and market share. The service will actually be branded by Best Buy as "Best Buy Connect," with the services to begin in 2011. The announcement makes clear that customers will have a wide variety of options when it comes to plans and devices, but it's unclear exactly what those will be just yet. But then again, they've got around half a year to iron all of that out, and hopefully 4G will be available in many more places by the time this partnership goes into action.

Best Buy(R) and Clearwire(R) Unveil Strategic Wholesale Relationship and Plans to Offer Newly Branded 4G Mobile Broadband Service in the U.S.

    * Best Buy Becomes First Major Wholesaler, Outside of Clearwire's Strategic Investors, to Join Clearwire's 4G "Network of Networks" and Offer Service Under the Best Buy Name
    * Best Buy ConnectSM Broadband Service to Offer New 4G Option
    * Customers to Have Choice of Device and Plan That Best Fits Their Mobile Broadband Needs

MINNEAPOLIS & KIRKLAND, Wash., Jul 29, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), a leading provider of wireless broadband services and operator of the fastest 4G network in the country, and Best Buy Connect, LLC, a subsidiary of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) today announced the formation of a strategic wholesale relationship in which Best Buy will use Clearwire's 4G network to offer mobile internet service to customers under the Best Buy Connect service. Beginning in 2011, Best Buy will offer a new 4G tier for its recently introduced Best Buy Connect service. Best Buy Connect was conceived to help accelerate mobile broadband adoption by providing consumers the convenience of one-stop shopping for devices, service activation, billing and customer support from Best Buy.

"Our strategic wholesale agreement with Clearwire will enable Best Buy Connect to leverage the Clearwire 4G network's speed and bandwidth to deliver compelling new mobile broadband experiences for our customers," said Jed Stillman, vice president of Best Buy Connect. "This agreement paves the way to providing one-stop shopping and support for mobile broadband as more people become more connected across all kinds of devices. We believe consumers will appreciate the added advantage of relying on Best Buy Connect for both 3G and 4G mobile broadband services beginning next year."

"Best Buy is at the forefront of providing consumers with the best in consumer electronics products and services, and we are very proud to provide the mobile broadband network that will enable them to offer their own branded 4G service to their broad customer base," said Teresa Elder, president of strategic partnerships and wholesale at Clearwire. "This new agreement is particularly strategic for our 'network of networks' business model. Not only is this one of the first major wholesale agreements beyond our group of strategic investors, but it also demonstrates the interest in our network from companies outside of traditional service providers. We look forward to supporting Best Buy in the months and years ahead."

4G Coming to Best Buy Connect

Best Buy Connect will offer its customers 4G service options that use the Clearwire network currently available in dozens of cities across the United States, with network coverage expected to continue to expand.

Best Buy Connect joins a growing portfolio of exclusive branded content, connections and services that deliver the advantages of what Best Buy calls the "connected world" easily and seamlessly to consumers. Additional details can be found at Detailed company information about Clearwire is available at