Clearwire Unveils New 4G Cities

Sprint partner Clearwire announces the next 15 cities in its 4G rollout.
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KIRKLAND, Wash. (

TheStreet

) --

Sprint

(S) - Get Report

partner

Clearwire

(CLWR)

has announced the next 15 cities in its rollout of

4G wireless services

.

WiMax

specialist Clearwire, which releases its first-quarter results after market close, already

offers 4G services

in 32 locations, but confirmed that a slew of new cities, including Nashville, Orlando, and Tampa, will be added to the list during the summer. The broadband specialist will extend 4G to a total of 18 locations during the summer months, including previously-announced Kansas City, St. Louis and Salt Lake City.

With consumers and businesses clamoring for faster data speeds, Clearwire has said that its 4G service will be offered in at least 61 locations by the end of the year.

Clearwire's 4G plans will have a major impact on its partner, Sprint. The telecom giant is in third place in the wireless market, behind

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

and

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

, but is the trailblazer for high-speed 4G networks.

Sprint launched its first 4G network in Baltimore in September 2008 and is working closely with Clearwire to bolster its 4G coverage. The Overland Park, Kansas-based telco expects its 4G service to cover up to 120 milion people by the end of 2010.

During his keynote at CTIA earlier this year,

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse

also predicted that 4G will prove crucial in sectors such as healthcare, education, and video surveillance.

Unlike AT&T and Verizon, Sprint has thrown its weight behind the WiMax flavor of 4G, while its rivals have championed Long Term Evolution (LTE). During his CTIA address, Hesse explained that the company's decision to follow the WiMax route was driven by the company's need to quickly build out its 4G network.

Sprint also

unveiled the world's first 4G smartphone at CTIA

, further cementing its relationship with Clearwire.

Despite all the buzz surrounding 4G, there is some

skepticism about when the technology will deliver investor upside

.

Ericsson

(ERIC) - Get Report

CFO Jan Frykhammar, for example, has warned that 4G will not generate significant revenue until 2012.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Clearwire to report sales of $97.18 million and a loss of 51 cents a share when it reports its first-quarter

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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