Clearwire, the first wireless operator in America to claim they have a 4G network, despite the fact that at the time their network didn’t meet the criteria warranting the 4G moniker, has decided to kill Rover, their sub-brand for the prepaid market. Rover launched back in August 2010, so the fact that it had just an 8 month lifespan gives you some hint as to how successful it was. The serivce offered customers the ability to hop on Clearwire’s WiMAX network for as little as $5 per day, unlimited usage, to as much as $50 per month, also unlimited. They sold two products: a USB modem for $100, and a portable hotspot, pictured above, for $150. Neither of the two devices could roam on Sprint’s 3G network, so if you ever found yourself in an area without WiMAX coverage you were essentially disconnected from the grid.
So what’s Clearwire going to do now? They’ll offer no-contract services with the Clearwire brand, something they should have done from the very beginning, and will be consolidating the confusing mix of marketing message that they’ve been putting out. We can only imagine how some people might have struggled to try and differentiate between Sprint 4G, Cleawire 4G, and Rover 4G, when they were all essentially the same network. If you’re looking for similar services from the competition then you’ve got Verizon, who has the fastest network in town, but it’ll run you $60 for 5 GB or $80 for 10 GB, then you have T-Mobile, who will be lighting up a 42 Mbps HSPA+ network soon and offering products that can take full advantage of that. Their service runs $50 for 5 GB and $85 for 10 GB, and as a plus there are no overage charges, you just get your speeds capped until your next billing cycle.
We know, data is expensive in the USA, but hopefully it isn’t going to stay that way for long.