EarthLink plans to offer fixed and wireless 4G broadband

EarthLink is a name I haven't thought of since the mid-90s when dial-up Internet access was all I could get. EarthLink has announced plans to offer fixed and wireless 4G broadband access to customers. The company will offer the 4G mobile and fixed access over the Clearwire WiMax network.

To begin with, EarthLink will start with fixed wireless service in consumers' homes and will later expand to include mobile devices. That sounds rather odd considering wireless broadband is typically associated with mobile devices more than home Internet access. EarthLink will offer the service using a WiMax USB dongle for computers, and mobile phones later.

While EarthLink's 4G service will start using the Clearwire WiMax network, both EarthLink and Clearwire say that the 4G access will be offered via Clearwire's LTE network when it launches sometime next year. EarthLink today sells Internet service using DSL more than the dial-up access were familiar with from the past.

EarthLink is Clearwire's latest wholesale customer, and Clearwire counts Sprint and prepaid mobile companies Jolt Mobile and Cricket Communications as customers as well. While Clearwire plans to roll out a LTE network, it will not discontinue its WiMax network. Sprint has an agreement in place with Clearwire that allows Sprint continue to use the WiMax network through 2015. There are no pricing or availability details on the new EarthLink service right now.

[via Computuer World]