In their biggest launch day yet, Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) and its virtual network partners Sprint (NYSE:S) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) rolled out commercial WiMax service in seven new markets today, including in the long-awaited Chicago, where Motorola (NYSE:MOT) has been building a massive metropolitan network for more than two years.
Clearwire activated three major networks in Texas — Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin — and turned up a good deal of North Carolina, launching service in metropolitan Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, and in the surrounding communities of Winston-Salem, High Point, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carey. Sprint, Clearwire’s primary investor, will offer its 3G/4G hybrid broadband in all of those markets, while Clearwire’s other active MVNO Comcast will sell WiMax as a supplementary mobile broadband service in its cable franchise market Chicago.
Last week, Clearwire officially launched service in Philadelphia. With the seven new markets Clearwire has nearly completed its planned 25-city rollout plan for 2009. Only Seattle and Honolulu remain.