Clear says "us too" on high-speed wireless

Clear Communications has joined the high-speed wireless Internet race - using the same increasingly crowded unlicensed 2.4Ghz band as Walker Wireless, RadioNet and others.

Clear Communications has joined the high-speed wireless Internet race - using the same increasingly crowded unlicensed 2.4Ghz band as Walker Wireless, RadioNet and others.

Clear Wireless was rolled out yesterday to two sites in Hamilton, using hardware from Marconi. Clear says it plans to establish base stations in Auckland and another North Island centre in the next couple of months and eventually to all main centres.

The company is promising speeds up to 2Mbit/s in both directions and will initially be charging $500 a month for unlimited access, with alternative pricing plans available soon. To ensure security, Clear will provide a router with a firewall at the customer end.

Clear Wireless is being pitched to small and medium-sized business, and as a complement to Clear's broadband LMDS (local multipoint distribution service) offering.

Unlike Walker, Clear will not seek to put voice over its spread-spectrum wireless service - Walker's move to do so is regarded by some as an inappropriate use of public spectrum - but it also seems to have no plan to acquire any further licensed spectrum.

Walker, BCL, Vodafone and Telstra have been bidding for management rights to such spectrum, which is expected to fetch prices in the hundreds of thousands, but Clear did not register for the government's radio spectrum auction.

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