EarthLink plans fixed and mobile wireless services over Clearwire's 4G networks

EarthLink will start with WiMax and later offer an LTE service, but isn't planning to sell phones

EarthLink will resell wireless broadband on Clearwire's WiMax network starting early next year and later will launch a service based on that company's planned LTE network.

The rollout will begin with fixed-wireless WiMax service in consumers' homes and will expand to include mobile devices and small-business services, the companies said. Fixed wireless Internet comes over the airwaves but is designed to be used in one place. EarthLink has plans to offer a WiMax USB dongle for mobile data access on laptops but not to sell phones, said Jennifer Spindel, EarthLink's vice president of consumer products. When Clearwire launches its LTE network, expected next year, EarthLink plans to offer services on that network, too. No financial terms were disclosed.

The partnership fits the playbooks of both companies. Both EarthLink and Clearwire are underdogs in a U.S. broadband business dominated by AT&T, Verizon and the big cable operators. EarthLink resells Internet service on the networks of facilities-based operators, including DSL (digital subscriber line) carriers, cable operators and satellite provider Dish Network. Clearwire makes most of its money selling network capacity wholesale to other service providers.

Though Clearwire's biggest partner by far is Sprint Nextel, it has other wholesale customers, including prepaid mobile operators Jolt Mobile and Cricket Communications. While Clearwire has joined Sprint and other major carriers in embracing LTE, its WiMax network isn't going away anytime soon. According to an agreement between Sprint and Clearwire announced last December, Sprint will be able to use the original 4G network through 2015.

Access to Clearwire's 4G networks will allow EarthLink to add mobile and wireless components to its service offerings. EarthLink has about 1 million consumer and 150,000 business customers for its existing broadband services. Like Clearwire, it has been operating in the red. Last month, EarthLink reported a net loss of US$1.1 million for the second quarter, on revenue of US$338.2 million. Its revenue was down by 2 percent from a year earlier.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?