Comcast launches WiMAX service over Clearwire

US cable carrier Comcast, one of the backers of WiMAX operation Clearwire, has announced plans to launch its own wireless broadband service under the High-Speed 2go brand.

Comcast this week launched WiMAX-based services using Clearwire’s network in Portland, Oregon, bundling the offering with its fixed line internet, phone and television products.

The cableco is selling two different data cards and service plans: the Metro service uses a WiMAX-only data card and for $49.99 includes 12Mbps fixed line internet, a wifi router and 4Mbps download speeds over the wireless network.

For an additional $20 per month, consumers can upgrade to the Nationwide service that includes the same services plus nationwide 3G mobile network access on Sprint’s 3G network. Existing triple play customers can add WiMAX to their package from $30 per month.

Comcast was one of the original investors in the ‘new’ Clearwire, and together with Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks injected $3.2bn in exchange for equity in the WiMAX operator.

Clearwire said it anticipates that cash spend for 2009 will be between $1.5bn and $1.9bn, while analysts at JP Morgan recently estimated that Clearwire faces a $2bn-$2.3bn funding gap, which will likely require tapping the credit markets in 2010, if not before.

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