Clearwire Launches in Atlanta: WiMAX for 3M People

[qi:___wimax] Clearwire (s clwr) launched its Clear WiMAX service in Atlanta today, providing 3 million people across 1,200 square miles in the home of Coke (s ko) and the Braves with 4G wireless download speeds of 4-6 Mbps. WiMAX service is available in several packages, including home Internet service plans for $20 per month, mobile Internet plans starting at $40 per month, and day passes for $10.

Given how much time folks in Atlanta spend in their cars, that WiMAX-enabled car reporters tried out last year at CES might be handy for city denizens (especially for those who carpool). Today’s rollout means WiMAX is now available in Baltimore, Portland and Atlanta; next up later this year…Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle. Also coming soon are more WiMAX-enabled devices, such as a Panasonic Toughbook computer with embedded WiMAX and the Samsung Mondi, a mobile WiMAX-enabled handheld device. Clearwire will also offer a dual-mode, 3G/4G modem, which will provide Clear customers access to Sprint’s (s s) nationwide 3G network. It launched last December, but will go on sale this summer through Clearwire. Now that LTE deployments from the major carriers are breathing down Clearwire’s neck, will all this be enough to keep WiMAX and Clearwire afloat?