WiMAX lights up today in Big Apple

WiMAX is expected to officially turn on in New York today as Clearwire sped up the deployment of the network, lighting up a new WiMAX site every 90 minutes.

The service is expected to be available throughout New York and the northern section of New Jersey. To deal with interference caused by the vast number of buildings, Clearwire indicated it constructed more than 1,000 new cell sites and deployed hundreds of picocells to enhance coverage in Manhattan. The operator also positioned several of its cell sites and antennas facing upward to bolster coverage on the top floors of skyscrapers.

Earlier this month, Clearwire and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) gave the launch timeline for New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Nov. 1 was the announced launch date for New York. Los Angeles is expected to light up on Dec. 1 while San Francisco will come online later in December. Time Warner Cable is also expected to launch its own branded service in Yew York, and Comcast will launch its service in San Francisco. Both companies are investors in, and wholesale partners of, Clearwire. Sprint, which markets its services under the Sprint 4G brand, owns 54 percent of Clearwire. 

The companies' time-to-market advantage soon will be narrowed significantly. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) plans to launch LTE in 38 markets--including Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco--and at 60 airports before the end of the year. MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) has launched its own LTE service in Dallas and Las Vegas.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones article

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