EarthLink said on Monday that it has signed an agreement with Clearwire Corporation to resell the company's "fixed" 4G wireless Internet network (WiMax) starting early next year. The deal will also allow EarthLink to resell Clearwire's 4G LTE mobile network access whenever it finally comes online in the near future.
"Clearwire's 4G network is a great extension to EarthLink's business, enabling them to add 4G fixed and mobile data plans to their diverse service portfolio," said Don Stroberg, SVP of strategic partnerships and wholesale at Clearwire. "We're thrilled to continue building momentum for our wholesale 4G business as the premier wholesale provider of 4G capacity to carriers, ISPs and other service providers in the U.S."
Clearwire is currently building a next-generation 4G LTE Advanced-ready network to address the mobile broadband capacity needs of customers located in urban markets. As the company brings the LTE network online, EarthLink will extend their agreement to offer users even faster speeds. Future product offerings will also include mobile devices and new services for small business customers, EarthLink said.
EarthLink has seemingly been around since the Internet exploded into homes nationwide back in the late 1990s. The company offered local dial-up Internet access, competing directly with America Online, but quickly lost its footing as consumers moved over to cable-based broadband access. The company went into restructuring mode back in 2007, dumping a number of products and employees. What emerged was a new EarthLink focused on IT, network and communication services for businesses. Now EarthLink is dipping its toes into the wireless broadband sector.
"Customers are increasingly equating broadband services with wireless services and our wholesale agreement with Clearwire will allow EarthLink to offer the wireless products and services necessary to remain a leader in communications services," said Michael Toplisek, Executive Vice President of Products & Marketing for EarthLink. "The 4G broadband speeds and urban and suburban network focus aligns well with our long-term strategy for growing our customer base. We are excited to leverage Clearwire's leadership in 4G for both WiMax and LTE in the future."
EarthLink did not provide an actual launch date for its 4G WiMax service, so stay tuned.