Aug 06 AT 12:36 PM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

Clearwire to test 4G LTE, significantly faster than others

Clearwire is currently in the middle of  building out their 4G WiMAX network to 120 million people this year, but the company remains technology agnostic and could switch to the more popular 4G standard LTE (Long Term Evolution). Starting this fall, Clearwire will begin testing several LTE scenarios in Phoenix, Arizona to demonstrate the company’s unmatched spectrum holdings.

Initial LTE tests are expected to demonstrate real-world download speeds ranging from 20-70 Mbps. Clearwire points out this is significantly faster than the 5-12 Mbps expected from “other operators in the U.S.”, which is a clear jab at Verizon who is already testing their 4G LTE network.

The super fast download speeds are a result of Clearwire’s vast spectrum holdings, which allow them to tap a lot of new capabilities that no other carrier in the country can do. Clearwire intends to conduct FDD LTE (Frequency Division Duplex) tests using 40 MHz of spectrum (paired in 20 MHz contiguous channels) of its 2.5 GHz spectrum. Other carriers deploying LTE are limited to smaller pairs of 10 Mhz channels or less, so Clearwire is the only one in the U.S. that can do this 20 megahertz arrangement.

To put it simply – Clearwire has the biggest pipe so they can deliver the most throughput (fastest download speeds).

Clearwire also revealed that a number of large wireless operators are expected to participate with them on these LTE tests. The speculation that Sprint and T-Mobile will eventually merge has been growing and if both carriers end up using LTE for their 4G networks then it could make more sense. T-Mobile has confirmed they had talks with Clearwire for possible network collaboration, so they could be one of the unnamed operators that will participate in these tests.

Even though Clearwire could eventually transition to LTE in the future, WiMAX is not being phased out anytime soon. Best Buy recently formed a relationship with Clearwire and expects to become their first major wholesaler of 4G data. Clear still expects to launch two 4G handsets this year and should release more details in the coming weeks.

Via: Seeking Alpha

Source: Clearwire

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Andrew

    I’ve got a buddy who works at Best Buy who signed up for this stuff. He said it worked great for a day and then the service never worked again at the correct speeds. He called the customer service number and none of them knew how to do anything with the service when all he wanted was to cancel it. I would not recommend this to anyone.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      It must have been a different service. Best Buy Connect will begin offering a 4G tier in 2011.

      • http://Website Andrew

        It wasn’t their 4g. It’s whatever they have in store now.

  • anakin78z

    So, if I understand this correctly, even though a bunch of the carriers are switching to LTE, they’ll still have incompatible networks because they’re using different frequencies? I was really hoping we’d see more compatibility between networks in the future…

    • http://Website Usman

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like American carriers are ever going to switch to the consumer friendly way of doing would mean more competition for them and better prices for us, which results in less revenue. It’s up to the FCC to change the status quo, but that won’t happen unless Congress gives it some teeth.

  • http://Website manny

    Wow 20-70 megs is effing ridiculous. I think Europe is using the 2.5 band for their LTE.

  • http://Website Tom

    I work in Encino, CA… I just saw a notice posted by the elevators on my way out to lunch that said AT&T and Clearwire were doing some work on the building and installing new equipment on the roof. I wonder if it’s related.

    • http://Website Tito

      Nice wishful thinking dude. Trying to create a stir .
      There’s no way AT&T would get exclusivity, that congestion of a network. No way XD

  • http://Website Manly man

    This sprinT-mobile speculation is starting to make more sense to me by the day!

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    is it me or does sprint seem seperating themselves above the rest with what they are doing?

  • JohnnyACEâ™  GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}â„¢

    “To put it simply — Clearwire has the biggest pipe so they can deliver the most throughput…”

    That’s what she said.


  • Shahzad Saeed

    Many people refer WiMax as 4th generation of mobiles. Many others describe LTE (Long Term Evolution) and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) as a part of 4G. Actually, these are the part of 3G. The thing is without spending much time everyone needs to unveil 4G products. I do believe 4G is a marketing term rather a technology.