Tag Archives | Clearwire

Are You Being Throttled By Clear?

It certainly is a rocky time for WiMAX provider Clear. The company’s CEO Bill Morrow has suddenly resigned, citing “personal reasons” according to a company press release. But that’s not the only problem: it is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in Washington state last week.

Complaints began surfacing last fall, when customers claimed that Clear wasn’t being forthcoming on its throttling practices. In some cases, connections were being slowed to 256 kbps — and the reason why was different depending on who you talked to. For some, it was said they were exceeding the bandwidth cap of 8GB per month: others got told it was due to “network congestion.”

This schizophrenic explanation of what was going on upset customers, who began to complain on Internet forums. Clear did later admit that it was throttling, although it refused to specify which customers it was doing it to, or how.

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Comcast Turns to WiMAX in Portland

ComcastComcast is using Clearwire’s network to offer its customers wireless high speed Internet in Portland, Oregon, and plans to launch the service in Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia by the end of 2009. Called Comcast High-Speed 2go, it would offer speeds of up to 4 MBps.

To entice customers to sign up for the service, the cable provider is offering a “Fast Pack Metro” bundle deal which offers the 2go service along with 12 MBps home Internet for $49.99 per month for a full year. At the end of that period, the rate jumps to $73/month, which is still quite competitive considering.

Better yet, where Clearwire does not have service yet, Comcast is allowing those subscribing to the 2go service to add mobile 3G data nationwide for an extra $20 month. This part of the service is offered through Sprint, which owns a portion of Clearwire.

Adding WiMAX service to its portfolio gives Comcast a stake in the ever-more-competitive mobile data industry. With speeds of between 5 to 10 MBps possible, it gives the standard a leg up on LTE, which is the mobile data standard that most cellular providers have chosen.

While LTE rollouts are expected to begin in force in 2010 and beyond, WiMAX is already available in several major metropolitan markets. It will be interesting to watch over the next one to two years whether or not WiMAX can continue to be one step ahead of its competitor.


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