Some people just can't keep a secret. After building suspense over what it might say today when it holds a media and analysts webcast, Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) leaked the news: It's planning a pay-as-you-go service.
The company is a joint venture of majority owner Sprint (NYSE: S), cable partners Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Bright House Networks, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Obviously intending to tamp down speculation that the announcement would be a Sprint (NYSE: S) takeover of the service (which has been rumored for months), Clearwire put out the word that it would start offering on-the-go mobile wireless for $25 to $55 a month, primarily to compete with Virgin Mobile which just announced its own plan.
Where this will sit with the cable industry is still to be determined. Comcast Business uses Clearwire's Clear WiMAX service as its wireless play--including fixed and mobile services--and also has a roaming deal with Sprint for 3G service when WiMAX is not available, as it often is not. It seems likely that the cable partners will make the Clear pay-as-you-go package a part of their wireless play as well.
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