The first such device is a dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX modem. Sprint, a 51 percent majority owner in Clearwire, has announced their new dual-mode WiMAX modem for use with Sprint’s own CDMA-based EVDO Rev. A data network as well as with Sprint-branded WiMAX service. Sprint re-brands Clearwire’s WiMAX service, allowing Clearwire to concentrate on network build-out while Sprint focuses on turning around their struggling business.
The device is intended to give Sprint WiMAX customers a bit of flexibility as Clearwire pushes to expand its nascent WiMAX network through 2009. Sprint WiMAX customers are so far only covered in Baltimore, requiring subscribers to fall back on Sprint’s EVDO data network when outside Clearwire’s WiMAX coverage area. Clearwire is planning to go live in Portland, Oregon in eary January, which should kick off the company’s nationwide WiMAX infrastructure build-out.
The modem willl cost $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, when purchased on two-year contract. Expect the new dual-mode modem to launch on December 21.