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Clearwire Launches 4G Mobile Hotspots

Clear Spot 4G and Clear Spot 4G+ mobile hotspots are now available both in stores and online from wireless broadband service provider Clearwire, the carrier said on Wednesday. Pre-orders for both devices are now being filled, Clearwire said.

Users can experience very fast speeds and 4G connectivity to Wi-Fi-enabled devices including laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and portable gaming devices with Clear Spot 4G and Clear Spot 4G+, the company said in a statement, and won't be bound by tiered or capped data usage plans.

For simultaneous use of up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices, Clear Spot 4G is a personal mobile hotspot that lets users easily and securely share unlimited, fast Internet access wherever Clear has coverage, the carrier said. The device costs $99.99 and can also be leased for $4.99 per month. Service plans start at $40 per month.

The Clear Spot 4G+ device is geared at road warriors and power users and enables them to stay connected across the country by automatically switching from 4G when outside the coverage area to Sprint's 3G nationwide network. Users can securely share the connection with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices at the same time with Clear Spot 4G+, which costs $224.99. The device can also be leased monthly for $5.99. Service plans start at $55 per month.

Clear 4G service is available in 36 cities, covering over 50 million people across the United States, including: Atlanta and Milledgeville, Ga.; Baltimore; Boise, Idaho; Chicago; Las Vegas; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster, and York, Pa.; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, N.C.; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; Seattle and Bellingham, Wash.; Salem and Portland, Ore.; Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Waco, and Wichita Falls, Texas; and central Washington, D.C.

During the summer, Clear 4G will launch in Yakima, Wash.; Eugene, Ore.; Syracuse and Rochester, N.Y.; Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Merced, Visalia, Modesto, and Stockton, Calif.; Wilmington, Del.; and Grand Rapids, Mich. By the end of 2010, Clear 4G will also be available in New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, covering 120 million people.

Clear is the carrier's own brand and it also markets its 4G service through its wholesale relationships with Sprint, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable.