December 03, 2010

4G fun with Sprint/Clearwire WIMAX in NYC: Yup, it's fast all right

Sprint and Clearwire's WIMAX network finally went live in New York City early last month, and I've been playing around with the Clear 4G+ Mobile USB modem for the past few weeks. (The PR reps at Clearwire were kind enough to loan me a review unit.) I have to say, this thing is fast—really fast.

Here in Carroll Gardens, I'm getting download speeds north of 3Mbps and uplink speeds very close to 3Mbps, which is about six times faster than my the upload rate that my Road Runner plan allows. Latency is surprisingly good, too—only about 70ms or so, not bad for cellular data.

The network feels pretty reliable, too. I plugged the Clear USB modem into my iMac this morning and used it for Internet access all day, without a hitch. I even forgot that I was using WIMAX rather than my home Wi-Fi network.

And this is just in Brooklyn, mind you. I can't wait to do a little testing in Manhattan next week.

Given that Sprint offers mobile WIMAX plans for $50 a month with no cap—or $10 cheaper than the 3G plan for my MiFi, which has a 5GB monthly cap—I may soon have to trade up for the WIMAX capable Sprint Overdrive.

P.S. I'm also a fan of T-Mobile's HSPA+ speedy network, but the carrier doesn't offer any 4G mobile hotspots yet—and neither does Verizon Wireless, which is slated to launch its new 4G LTE network on Sunday. Oh well.

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