Clearwire Amps Up Retail Presence


Clearwire (s clwr) has opened retail stores in 10 U.S. cities as part of pushing its Clear WiMAX service to the masses. The cities and regions include Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C.; Chicago; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; and Seattle/Puget Sound, Wash. However, given how few WiMax-capable devices there are right now, the retail environment must seem pretty empty.

Clear currently offers three modems, one handset (pictured) and 21 laptops/netbooks that can be configured with built-in WiMAX cards. More devices are supposed to be on their way (including a Mac-compatible modem), but it’s not exactly a hub for hot gadgets yet. Maybe that’s because the goal here is to sell broadband service instead of devices.


Mari Silbey

Huge CLEAR presence in Philly suburbs. Sales rep with demo equipment on site at the Best Buy, and signage everywhere at the mall. And of course, lots of lime green billboards around.


In Atlanta they are taking low-rent, non-prime locations, which are easy to find given the vacancy rates. I went into one of their locations over the weekend just to hear the pitch and the “kids” focused 100% on the broadband service. I am not even sure there were devices there to be sold, though there was plenty of fancy equipment to demo the service.

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