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Clear WiMAX Ends Nov. 6: You Don’t Have to Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here

Phillip Dampier September 28, 2015 Competition, Consumer News, Data Caps, Rural Broadband, Wireless Broadband 4 Comments

If you are among the dwindling number of customers still using Sprint’s Clearwire 4G WiMAX service, the wireless provider would like you to leave.

After about a year of successive warnings it was preparing to decommission its aging WiMAX network in favor of LTE service, nobody can accuse Sprint of not giving its customers fair warning. The top banner on the Clear.com website is now festooned with red text giving customers one last chance to move on.

clear bye bye

In brief, the last Sprint WiMAX cell tower will cease functioning Nov. 6 2015 at 12:01am EST. Sprint is repurposing many of its former WiMAX cell sites to support expanded 4G LTE service in the carrier’s perennial network makeover.

wimaxDespite this, there still remains a loyal user base for WiMAX service — many in semi-rural areas using the service until the last days for wireless home broadband. The alternative is usually very expensive mobile data service from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile, or one of several resellers. But usage caps can be stingy and overlimit fees high.

We also found several businesses, including a small auto servicing chain in western New York, still occasionally relying on Clear WiMAX-powered guest Wi-Fi, apparently unaware the service is soon to disappear. Time Warner Cable is often the chosen replacement for Clear’s business customers in the northeast as the cable company aggressively markets business broadband service coupled with free customer/public Wi-Fi access for around $90 a month.

Although WiMAX is nearing extinction in the United States, it remains in service in places like Ukraine and Azerbaijan. In Calgary, Platinum Communications continues to offer WiMAX wireless broadband in rural parts of Alberta between Edmonton and Calgary and large sections of the flat, open prairie of southeastern Alberta, including the communities of Lethbridge, Brooks, and Medicine Hat.

Currently there are 4 comments on this Article:

  1. Brandon says:

    As a user of clearwire (sadly) and have been one for nearly a year now I am insanely frustrated that they haven’t given us a new option. This is my only unlimited data option. I don’t know how I will be able to do school work when I have to watch videos and download a lot of files. I wish Sprint would just give the users who have stuck with Clear a better option than 5 GB a month. So I’m going from unlimited data to 5GB a month for the same price how is that fair?

    • Paul says:

      I am in the same boat! I use about 20gb a month on my clear service. I think the closest comparable plan would be $110/mo vs the $45 I am paying now. I guess I will just have to tether from my Cricket phone.

    • 54545457 says:

      Its not and it is complaetely wrong for them to do this without offering the clearwire Customers an comparable plan in return. They will get away with it though unfortunantly but stuff like this needs to go through not only the Affected local Government but also through a town meeting to decide if its in the best interest of the people affected (And clearly its not in the best interest of the people).

  2. Michael says:

    FYI, many schools used this network via partners such as Mobile Beacon and Mobile Citizen who had specially negotiated EBS spectrum leases with CLEAR/Sprint that included discounted services for Educational use (often provided to students by participating schools and libraries). Those devices will also cease to function. According to the sites for these non-profits, they have been unable to reach agreement with Sprint to provide comparable service on Sprint’s new LTE network to these educational institutions. This means the students and educators are left with a potentially long gap with no service until Sprint works with these non-profits to provide a solution.

    More info:

    http://www.mobilebeacon.org/sprint-forward/
    http://mobilecitizen.org/lte/

    Alternative:

    http://www.wdrb.com/story/30205041/kajeet-announces-program-to-help-students-affected-by-clearsprint-wimax-shutdown-stay-connected-to-the-internet

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