Saturday, December 26, 2009

A new player in town

A new player in town

Comcast consistently has some of the worst customer service ratings of any company anywhere (and isn’t available at my home). Time Warner is just kind of annoying. A new internet provider in town would be welcome.

Is CLEAR’s mobile WiMAX network up to the challenge?

A legitimate mobile internet option?

CLEAR puts its best foot forward with this innovative technology. Anywhere CLEAR provides coverage, you get connectivity for your laptop or desktop. Anywhere.

It makes me drool a little.

The coverage (for all services) is pretty limited for now, but includes lots of locations in Texas (very good for me), and I expect it to expand to more major cities (and hopefully to all airports) in the near future.

Once you get the $50 USB WiMAX device, or select the new WiMAX option when buying a supported computer, you can connect. You can also provide internet for up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices (including other computers), but it’s not cheap. You need to buy the $140 CLEAR Spot device, and need to have the main machine and its WiMAX enabled device turned on. CLEAR Spot has a 2-3 hour battery life, and it can also work while plugged in directly ($20 wall adapter, $20 car adapter). Its Lithium-Ion battery will, of course, eventually wear out ($30 for a new rechargeable battery).

So, again, it’s not cheap, but ohmygosh it’s cool.

Now I just need to buy a computer with a battery life longer than 3 minutes.

A home internet replacement option?

Clear vaunts itself as an alternative. You plug in their $70 modem to a power outlet, and they beam the internet to the modem, which you connect to your computer or router. There doesn’t appear to be anything indicating that it would not function the same way as existing wired internet options.

How much?

I like both the Home and Mobile, $45, 6.0 Mbps download, 1.0 Mbps upload, unlimited data options.

I don’t really consider the lighter Home options ($25, 1.0, 0.5 -&- $35, 3.0, 1.0), or the $35, 6.0 Mbps download, 1.0 Mbps upload, 2 GB / month options to be relevant.

They’re also offering lifetime rates, which means that you keep the same low locked-in rate for as long as you continuously keep the service. If you move to an area that doesn’t have CLEAR coverage, and you cancel the service, then you lose the rate for good.

What is CLEAR Voice?

VOIP service through Clear. In my mind, it’s irrelevant. Feel free to look around.


I’ll leave this to the FAQ: “Your CLEAR connection is very secure. Unlike WiFi, CLEAR technology uses a licensed 2.5 Ghz frequency and OFDM transmission protocol for a very secure connection. The combination of licensed frequencies and OFDM technology provides a very secure connection.”

So, tell me, what’s important to you about your internet connection?

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