Clearwire has officially launched its second WiMAX market with today’s introduction of Clear mobile WiMAX service in Atlanta. Like its counterpart in Portland, the Clearwire network in Atlanta runs on Motorola radio infrastructure equipment – the Motorola WAP 400 and WAP 450 access points – and bundles service with consumer access devices from Motorola – including the desktop CPEi 150 and the USBw 100 laptop adapter.
Having tested Motorola WiMAX networks at several trade shows (and securing my own laptop adapter), I’m distinctly jealous that there’s no 4G connection in my metro neighborhood. Apparently others share my enthusiasm. Subscriber growth has been strong in Portland so far, with analyst Paul Kapustka estimating between 15,000 and 20,000 new WiMAX subscribers to date in the first Clear service market.
The promise of US WiMAX service has been slow to materialize, but there’s momentum now for the first time since Sprint and Clearwire joined together with funding help from major cable operators, Google, and Intel. Clearwire has promised several more market launches before the end of the year, and there’s word that Las Vegas is in soft launch already. So far, all of the new Clear-branded WiMax markets are being powered by Motorola.