Clearwire Launches 4G Service in Rochester & Syracuse

Clearwire today announced the launch of its 4G mobile broadband service for businesses and consumers in Rochester and Syracuse, New York. Designed to deliver the Internet at speeds four times faster than 3G, CLEAR is priced comparably to many wireless broadband plans, but has no usage caps.

Pricing from their website offers customers stay-at-home and mobile service plans (or both). Customers choosing month-to-month service have to buy the equipment up front, starting at $70 and pay a $35 activation fee. Those who commit to a two-year service contract can lease the equipment for $4-6 a month and skip start-up fees. Packages start at $40 a month for 6/1Mbps service. At $55 a month, they take the speed limit off, providing occasional bursts of wireless speed up to 10Mbps. Another $15 on top of that buys you nationwide 3G roaming. Sales tax is not included. Customers get a 14 day trial period to evaluate the service and can cancel within that window with no obligation, although our Jay Ovittore reports they'll drag you through the cancellation process.

At $40 for unlimited use, CLEAR's 4G service beats Cricket, which charges the same price for 3G speeds, but limits consumption to 5GB per month before they start throttling your speed to dial-up. Other mobile broadband services typically charge up to $60 for 5GB of usage at 3G speeds. Ironically, while 4G service from Clearwire is unlimited, the slower 3G speed service is not — there is a usage limit of 5GB per month on the 3G network, and then overlimit fees of five cents per megabyte kick in.

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