Well known WiMAX Chipset manufacturer Beceem announced this week that it is developing a dual 4G chip that offers both WiMAX and LTE connectivity at downlink speeds up to 150 Mbps. The new BCS500 multi-mode chip will seamlessly handoff a connection between WiMAX and LTE and supports the latest revision of both standards. The chip could be a boon to both hardware manufacturers and MVNOs who can now design hardware and sell connectivity solutions that utilize both 4G networks. A dual 4G device also enables drop dead easy global roaming as a customer on an LTE network in the U.S. can utilize a WiMAX network while visiting Russia. Just in time for the commercialization of LTE in the United States, the Beceem BCS500 is expected to be sampled to customers in Q4 2010 and available for mass production in Q2 2011.
Sprint/Clearwire has enjoyed the bounty of being the largest 4G carrier in the US in 2009. The Kirkland, Washington based company has expanded its Clear WiMAX service from a mere 2 to 27 total markets in 2009 and is offering 4-6Mbps broadband wireless connectivity in five major cities including Baltimore, Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon. The road has been bumpy for Clear with widely reported network problems and other growing pains plaguing the company as it builds out its fledgling WiMAX infrastructure. Despite setbacks and delays, Clear’s WiMAX service has attracted 173,000 customers by the end of Q3 2009 and its subscriber base is expected to increase as it continues to roll out service in the fourth quarter of 2009. Fueling this growth is a healthy amount of capital that will allow Clear to expand WiMAX to 120 million customers by the end of 2010. That is the status of their network, hit the jump to see what Clear has in store for devices in 2010. More →