Grand Rapids consumers and businesses will soon have another Internet service alternative — a wireless one.
Kirkland, Wash.-based Clearwire Corp. (Nasdaq: CLWR) and Grand Rapids city officials Monday announced the availability of Clear 4G mobile Internet service in Grand Rapids.
With Clear, anyone can now use the internet at speeds four times faster than 3G, whether at home, in the office, or on the go.
In Grand Rapids, Clear covers more than 214,000 people. The service area is bordered by Seven Mile Road on the north, I-96 on the east, M-6 on the south and M-11 on the west.
Clearwire also Monday launched Clear 4G service in Stockton and Modesto, Calif.; Wilmington, Del., and Jacksonville, Fla. A detailed coverage map of CLEAR 4G service is available at www.clear.com/coverage.
“CLEAR is proud to bring to Grand Rapids residents, businesses and visitors a 4G internet experience similar to what they’re used to having at home or the office, anywhere around town or on the go in Western Michigan,” said Jeannie Weaver, Clearwire sales director.
Added Grand Rapids Mayor George Hartwell: “Our partnership with Clearwire will enable us to utilize mobile broadband technology in a variety of applications — from public safety to emergency response and building inspections.”
For a limited time, new customers can take advantage of CLEAR’s online-only mobile internet promotion to receive a 50 percent discount on their service plan for the first two months, with overnight shipping included and no activation fee. This promotion is available at www.clear.com/michigan.
The Clear experience is similar to Wi-Fi but without the short-range limitations. Clear uses wireless 4G technology that differs from Wi-Fi because it provides service areas measured in miles, not feet.
Clear also offers average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 mbps with bursts over 10 mbps. Outside the Clear 4G service area, dual-mode 4G/3G modems keep users continually connected through Sprint’s 3G data network.
With CLEAR, people stay better connected and more productive. For example,
* a traveling business executive no longer needs to seek out Wi-Fi hotspots or be constrained by the speeds and limitations of 3G modem cards;
* a busy parent can now keep kids occupied studying or playing games in the back of the family minivan;
* a police officer can analyze live video streaming from an outdoor surveillance camera to the squad car down the street. Once the officer responds, a dispatcher can observe the scene in case the officer requires back-up support.
* on the way to a fire, a firefighter will be able to download building schematics, hazmat information and quickly identify the closest fire hydrant, even at night or when covered by snow, with computer mapping technology.
* emergency room doctors can have immediate access to a victim’s medical data, including EKGs while the victim is in transport by ambulance, enabling them to make important decisions and call necessary teams to the hospital — benefiting the patient and reducing medical costs.
* a building inspector can quickly access critical blueprints, forms, and data, effectively minimizing red tape and expediting the permit process by printing it on site, avoiding costly delays.
Unlike service plans from traditional wireless carriers which cap data usage, Clear offers unlimited 4G usage plans that do not require long-term service contracts. In most markets unlimited 4G coverage from Clear starts at $30 for the home while unlimited mobile plans start as low as $40. Bundled services such as Home and On-The-Go and Home and Voice plans start at $55 per month.
Clearwire offers several ways to connect to Clear 4G service – via a modem, mobile device, or a 4G-embedded laptop or netbook.
* Clear 4G Mobile Hotspots: The Clear Spot 4G is a personal mobile hotspot allowing users to easily and securely share unlimited super fast internet access anywhere Clear has coverage simultaneously with up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices including laptops, smartphones, and portable gaming devices. The Clear Spot 4G+ allows power users and road warriors to stay connected across the U.S. by automatically switching from 4G and connecting to Sprint’s 3G nationwide network outside the 4G coverage area. The Clear Spot 4G+ enables users to securely share the connection with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices at the same time. The Clear Spot 4G costs $99.99 or can be leased for $4.99 a month. The Clear Spot 4G+ costs $224.99 or can be leased for $5.99 per month. Clear Spot products can be purchased at www.clear.com/spot and from CLEAR stores and authorized dealers.
* Clear 4G+ Mobile USB: Mobile users simply plug-in the compact Clear 4G+ Mobile USB into their laptop to get online. This dual-mode 4G/3G modem gives users access to the 4G network in the Clear coverage area and to 3G coverage nationwide. The Clear 4G+ Mobile USB costs $114.99 or can be leased monthly for $5.99.
* Home Modems: For residential service, Clear offers a wireless high-speed modem. Customers simply plug the modem into a power outlet anywhere in their home or office and connect the modem to their PC or wireless router. This enables consumers and businesses to easily install high-speed internet service without scheduling an appointment, drilling holes in their walls, or otherwise disrupting their day. The Clear Home Modem can be purchased for $84.99 or leased for $4.99 monthly.
* Embedded 4G WiMAX Laptops: Clear customers can also select from one of 35 different 4G-ready laptops and netbooks with Intel® CoreTM or AtomTM processors and the embedded Intel® wireless module Advanced-N + WiMAX from leading manufacturers including Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba. A detailed list of 4G-ready laptops and netbooks is available at www.clear.com. 4G-ready laptops can also be purchased at Best Buy stores nationwide.
Clear 4G products and services are available for purchase by going online at www.clear.com/michigan, calling (877) 499-6681, or visiting a Clear retail store or other authorized Clear dealer. Clear service is also available from other outlets including Best Buy and Radio Shack.
Clear 4G service is currently available in 49 markets across the United States, including: Jacksonville, Fla.; Wilmington, Del.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Syracuse and Rochester, N.Y.; Atlanta and Milledgeville, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Boise, Idaho; Chicago, Ill.; Las Vegas, Nev.; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and York, Pa.; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, NC; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; Seattle, Tri-Cities, Yakima and Bellingham, Wash.; Salem, Portland and Eugene, Ore.; Merced, Visalia, Modesto and Stockton, Calif.; Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Waco and Wichita Falls, Texas; central Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
In the summer of 2010, Clear 4G will launch in Tampa, Orlando and Daytona, Fla.; and Nashville, Tenn. By the end of 2010, Clear 4G will also be available in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
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