Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CLEAR Sailing for 4G Wireless

You’ve heard that 4G wireless is coming. Well, CLEAR is deploying 4G WiMAX wireless services right now. If you are one of the lucky ones living in an area where CLEAR WiMAX high speed wireless broadband Internet is available, you’ll enjoy bandwidth similar to what you get from DSL or Cable, but without the wires. Various plans are available for home, mobile or both.

4G wireless broadbandSo, what’s WiMAX and what is the difference between 3G and 4G? WiMAX is an international standard for wireless broadband service. It’s been described as WiFi with a city-wide coverage area. Technically there are a lot of differences between WiFi and WiMAX, but that’s probably how you’ll use it.

WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It’s defined by IEEE standard 802.16. You’ll remember that WiFi is also an IEEE standard, 802.11. One difference between WiMAX and WiFi is that WiMAX uses licensed frequencies at high power. WiFi shares unlicensed frequencies with microwave ovens, Bluetooth headsets, cordless phones and other devices that operate at relatively low power levels. This is why you can get WiMAX in your car or at home, while WiFi disappears as soon as you drive away from the restaurant or leave your driveway.

Remember all the hoopla about kicking analog TV stations off the air so their channels could be sold to the highest bidder? Clearwire was one of the big winners in that spectrum auction and CLEAR WiMAX is the service they are offering on the channels they won. With no interference and towers transmitting powerful signals, WiMAX service can go for miles and even penetrate buildings. You’ll need a modem for your PC or MAC. It sits next to the computer on your desk or plugs into your WiFi router just like any other broadband modem. A WiMAX picks up its broadband Internet connection through the air. A smaller version looks like a USB memory stick and plugs into your laptop computer for mobile use. But WiMAX gives you service all over town, even in your car.

Isn’t that also true of 3G cellular broadband? Indeed it is. What WiMAX has to offer is generally higher speeds than 3G. That’s why it’s called 4G or fourth generation to indicate that it is a step up technically from 3G or third generation. How fast does WiMAX run? CLEAR says that the average expected download speeds are in the range of 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps, with occasional bursts up to 10 Mbps. Sustained rates of 3 to 6 Mbps are pretty rare for 3G mobile broadband.

Where is CLEAR WiMAX available? Right now it’s in selected areas of the country with more cities on the way as the build-out continues. The greatest concentration of service is in Texas, in almost a dozen cities. You’ll also find CLEAR in Hawaii, the Seattle-Portland area of the Pacific Northwest, Boise, Chicago, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Milledgeville, Georgia, and Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Another advantage of CLEAR WiMAX 4G is cost. Plans start at $30 a month, which is less many DSL and Cable broadband plans and much less than 3G cellular broadband. Being wireless, the equipment is shipped to you and you install and activate it yourself. No waiting around for the cable guys. Plus you can get combined home and mobile service, which is something DSL and Cable can’t offer.

Does this sound like a broadband service you might like to have? If so, learn more and order your CLEAR WiMAX 4G broadband service online now.

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