Arts & Entertainment

Clearwire to expand to L.A., Miami, St. Louis

Clearwire Corp. said Tuesday that it will expand its wireless broadband network to cover Los Angeles, Miami, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City this year.

Clearwire had already said that it would expand to cover New York, Houston, Boston, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis and San Francisco this year. Right now, Clearwire covers 27 cities with its service, which provides speeds close to DSL for about $30 per month.

The announcement doesn't represent an acceleration of the company's plan. Clearwire had previously said it plans to cover areas with 120 million people by the end of 2010, and it is sticking to that figure.

Clearwire is using WiMax technology. It's faster than cellular broadband offered by wireless carriers, but it doesn't yet work with cell phones. Clearwire sells WiMax modems for laptops, and some laptops now come with built-in modems. It had 688,000 subscribers at the end of last year.

Sprint Nextel Corp. owns a majority of the company and resells service under the Clear brand. Other investors include cable companies, which are looking to sell wireless service to compete with phone companies.

Clearwire's shares rose 9 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $7.87 in Tuesday morning trading.

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