Clearwire gets FCC approval for Wimax notebook card

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Kirkland (WA) – Clearwire today said that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved what the company claims to be the first “WiMax-class laptop card.”

According to a press release distributed on Tuesday, the card will fit into standard type II ports and will become available in the second half of this year. The company said that the device will connect to Clearwire’s network, which currently provides Wi-Fi-based wireless broadband service in 37 markets, reaching about 8.9 million people in more than 350 municipalities in Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Pricing of the card as well as a related broadband service has not been announced. The Wi-Fi service offered at this time is priced between $15 and $50 per month, depending on available bandwidth.

As it was the case with Wi-Fi integration, also WiMax is likely to become part of wireless chipsets for notebooks and eventually part of integrated processor packages. Intel recently said that it will be offering a WiMax chipset for its Centrino technology as part of the “Montevina” platform: Montevina is scheduled to be released with the “Echo Peak” WiMax/Wi-Fi chipset in the first half of 2008.