WiMAX solutions provider Clearwire, which is building a national WiMAX network with SprintNextel, is doing some low profile nomadic access testing in its home city of Seattle.
But for those of you who cannot wait for Clearwire-Sprint's Mobile WiMAX, don't get too excited about this test.
As Telephony Online's Kevin Fitchard reports, this effort consists solely of Clearwire selling laptop PC cards to its Seattle-based broadband access customers. Nomadic in its intent, the service uses Clearwire's proprietary network. It requires an $80 Motorola laptop card and a $60 monthly service plan for unlimited access.
Update: I have just received a correction from Clearwire referring to statements in Kevin's original article, and that I had cited in my original posting:
The existing CLWR network does support portability and mobility between base stations by means of rapid re-selection. In this scheme, when the Clearwire pc card leaves the range of its serving base station, a new link is rapidly established with a new base station. This re-selection scheme is optimized to be very fast so that Clearwire pc card users can typically maintain their data sessions while they roam in our markets. Our future mobile WiMAX networks will facilitate mobility in a different way, which we believe will be more seamless and efficient than we offer today.
Sounds mobile, but really isn't.
"The application, however, is considered portable, not mobile, since the network hasn’t been optimized for movement within the network or handoff between base stations," Fitchard explains.