With Google, Intel and Cisco being big investors in the WiMAX game, one would think that Silicon Valley would of been setup for WiMAX long ago. But Clearwire has just completed construction of more than 20 square miles in Santa Clara, Mountain View and parts of Palo Alto. But when is WiMAX finally going to go mainstream? According to a recent article, it states that:

Developers can expect to see peak download speeds of up to 10 Mbps, with average download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps. In contrast, some of today’s 3G wireless networks typically deliver download speeds of between 600 kbps – 1.4 Mbps.

The experience is similar to that provided by Wi-Fi, but without the short-range limitations of a traditional hot spot. CLEAR uses a 4G technology that differs from Wi-Fi called WiMAX, which provides service areas measured in miles, not feet. In addition, WiMAX technology is truly mobile and enables seamless handovers from tower to tower, similar to cellular.

Service will be provided free to a limited number of qualified developers leading up to the commercial service launch in this area.

To access the network, developers can purchase a Clearwire WiMAX USB modem for $49.99. Developer-owned, CLEAR network-ready WiMAX devices, such as the Samsung Mondi and WiMAX-embedded Intel-based PC’s, are also eligible for the program.

To qualify, developers must register for Clearwire’s developer program and describe the WiMAX development ideas they wish to pursue. Interested developers can sign-up at http://developer.clear.com/innovation. The developers’ website will also include coverage maps and suggested drive routes for mobile application testing. (From the Clearwire press release.)

The remainder of the Bay Area is expected to get WiMAX from Clearwire sometime in 2010. But what about the remainder of the US of A ? Your guess is as good as mine. I believe some in the US would be happy just to get broadband.

Comments welcome.

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