4G Blog by 4Ginfo.com

News, info, reviews, and opinions on WiMAX, LTE, Clearwire, XOHM, and Sprint 4G

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Now that the formation of the new Clearwire company has been approved by the Feds as well as their shareholders, it is expected that the deal will be closing on December 1st. What does that mean for us WiMAX-hungry consumers, though?

The closure of the deal will give Clearwire access to a huge chunk of change (several billions of dollars courtesy of Intel and more) and they are going to put it right to use. Portland, Oregon is reported to be the first market deployed, and that will be happening soon - first quarter 2009 - followed by Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Grand Rapids. The lack of big city names like LA and New York is a bit disappointing, but they are hiring for many positions around the country, including Los Angeles and Texas, indicating that those areas will likely be Clearwire markets at some point.

For now, it's back to waiting for XOHM to switch their test markets (Chicago, Philly, et al) to official XOHM networks!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

DC residents have had unofficial access to the XOHM network for a while now, like folks in Chicago and Dallas, but as of this week they are now a "real" XOHM city! XOHM.com is now including DC in their coverage maps:

Sprint must not be anticipating the Obamas needing WiMAX - the area surrounding the White House is wholly uncovered.

Switching from a test market to an official XOHM area should make a significant difference in the experience for the DC users. No more secret activations!

Are you in DC? Used XOHM yet? Share with us at 4G Forums!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Clearwire and Sprint have had to jump through a lot of hurdles since announcing their plans to join their WiMAX forces back in May of 2008. They faced opposition from AT&T, who unsuccessfully appealed to the FCC earlier this fall to try to stop the merger, as well as from iPCS, then had to wait for approval from the FCC (which they got earlier this month), and then were waiting on a vote from Clearwire stockholders to see that they had their stamp of approval.

It was finally given to the shareholders to vote upon on Thursday, and Clearwire's board of directors unanimously recommended to their shareholders that they vote in favor of the merger - and they did!

The transaction was approved by the shareholders yesterday and Clearwire (remember, the merged Sprint/Clearwire company is going under the name "Clearwire") now has the seal of approval from the law and the people. This is a big step and I'd expect to see their development and deployment schedule really ramp up now.

As Clearwire CEO Benjamin G. Wolff put it,

"Today, our shareholders have taken a transformative step toward enabling an entirely new mobile Internet experience for consumers and businesses across the country. With an unmatched spectrum portfolio, a next generation all IP network, an ever-expanding ecosystem of mobile 4G devices, and the backing of some of the most innovative communications, entertainment and technology companies in the world, Clearwire is ready to redefine mobile Internet services in the U.S."

Join the 4G Forums discussion about the new Clearwire

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

ipcs territory map

The Clearwire/Sprint merger may have been approved by the FCC earlier this month, but that doesn't mean the new WiMAX company is now 100% free to forge ahead with all of their plans. At least two companies have expressed a distaste for the merger - first AT&T, who tried to block the merger earlier this year, and also Illinois-based Sprint partner iPCS, who has a history of blocking Sprint from providing service from merged companies in their territories. Citing exclusivity clauses in their contract with Sprint, iPCS has gone to the courts in hopes of barring Sprint from offering any service from the new Clearwire network in their territories, which include areas of Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee (check out the map above for more detail on where iPCS reigns).

Fortunately for Sprint/Clearwire, on Monday an Illinois circuit court told iPCS that they must immediately withdraw their request for a restraining order, meaning Sprint/Clearwire can move forward with their WiMAX development plans. This is great news for the new company, especially considering the precedent that was set when the Illinois court sided with iPCS when they complained about the Nextel merger. The court did provide an allowance for iPCS to re-file in the future, but for the time being Clearwire will be allowed to continue their development unfettered.

It has been reported that Clearwire plans on rolling out services in iPCS territories in July of 2009, and they have agreed to notify iPCS of their plans 60 days before launch. While it was reported that July 2009 would be the soonest WiMAX would be deployed in those regions, it was not made clear where exactly the service will become available first or which parts of the region will be covered.

Discuss iPCS vs Clearwire on the 4G Forums

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