EarthLink has been laying low since its Philly-wide WiFi project failed all those years ago, but now it's back in the limelight with Clearwire's 4G network under-arm. The companies have struck a deal for EarthLink to access Clearwire's WiMAX infrastructure, initially to offer wireless, in-home broadband. This is expected to launch in early 2013, with mobile and small business markets being future goals. An LTE network is also in the pipeline, don't forget, and when it goes live, EarthLink is likely to expand the agreement to cover it. The ISP is obviously putting its eggs in the 4G basket, because no one wants wires anymore, do they?
EarthLink and Clearwire Announce Wholesale 4G Agreement
Clearwire's 4G Mobile Broadband Network to Power EarthLink's Wireless Internet Service;
Companies Remain Open to Extending Relationship to LTE Services in the Future
BELLEVUE, Wash. and ATLANTA - September 10, 2012 - Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ: CLWR), a leading provider of 4G mobile broadband services in the U.S., and EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK), a leading IT services and communications provider, today announced a wholesale agreement that will enable EarthLink to offer its customers high-speed fixed and mobile broadband service using Clearwire's 4G network.
"Clearwire's wholesale 4G services offer a wide range of customer and product options for established and non-traditional wireless entrants seeking to seize the opportunity in the hot mobile broadband market of today," said Don Stroberg, SVP of strategic partnerships and wholesale at Clearwire. "Clearwire's 4G network is a great extension to EarthLink's business, enabling them to add 4G fixed and mobile data plans to their diverse service portfolio. We're thrilled to continue building momentum for our wholesale 4G business as the premier wholesale provider of 4G capacity to carriers, ISPs and other service providers in the U.S."
EarthLink's wireless service will initially target consumers for in-home use, and is expected to launch in early 2013. Future product offerings will include mobile devices and new services for small business customers.
"Customers are increasingly equating broadband services with wireless services and our wholesale agreement with Clearwire will allow EarthLink to offer the wireless products and services necessary to remain a leader in communications services," said Michael Toplisek, Executive Vice President of Products & Marketing for EarthLink. "The 4G broadband speeds and urban and suburban network focus aligns well with our long-term strategy for growing our customer base. We are excited to leverage Clearwire's leadership in 4G for both WiMAX and LTE in the future."
Clearwire is constructing a next-generation 4G LTE Advanced-ready network to address the mobile broadband capacity needs of wholesale customers in urban markets where demand for wireless data is high. As Clearwire's LTE network comes online, EarthLink and Clearwire expect to extend their agreement to offer users even faster speeds.