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Clearwire (s clwr) said today that it would expand its WiMAX network to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and St. Louis this year. In its effort to cover 120 million people before the end of the year, these cities will join previously announced network buildouts in 2010 in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver, Minneapolis and Kansas City.
Sprint (s S), which is a Clearwire partner, will provide the 3G coverage to supplement Clearwire’s 4G coverage in the regions. The two companies are in a race to sign up mobile broadband subscribers before the cellular operators launch their own 4G networks, based on the Long Term Evolution standard. For consumers, WiMAX and LTE mean faster mobile broadband speeds and eventually VoIP phone calls and superfast phones.