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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 1, 2006 at 10:28 AM

Clearwire ranked No. 2

Broadband Wireless Exchange magazine has released the winners of its annual Top 10 Wireless Internet Service Providers survey, and Kirkland-based Clearwire is listed at No. 2.

If you look closely, though, you’ll see that Clearwire is actually tied for No. 1.

The survey ranks wireless ISPs based on the number of subscribers using the service. It includes both Wi-Fi and proprietary WiMax-like technologies, but only fixed service, which require the user to have an antenna.

Clearwire, which is being run by Craig McCaw, is using a proprietary WiMax technology that is built by its subsidiary NextNet in Minneapolis and is available in almost 30 cities in the U.S.

The No. 1 company is MobilePro, which has one of the largest metro-Wi-Fi deployments, in Tempe, Ariz. MobilePro has 20,000 subscribers for its fixed service. But a closer look at the list reveals that Clearwire, ranked No. 2, also has 20,000 subscribers.

Robert Hoskins, the trade publication’s editor and chief, said he wouldn’t list Clearwire as tying, because the company wouldn’t confirm its numbers. He said that’s typical of McCaw, who likes to run under the radar. For example, Hoskins said that when McCaw first started McCaw Cellular Communications, he didn’t let anyone know what his plan was.

“I think Craig McCaw doesn’t want people focused on what he’s doing,” he said. “I guarantee he’s laughing all the way to the bank.”

The official winners’ list is:

1. Mobile Pro

2. Clearwire

3. SpeedNet Services

4. Plateau Meganet Internet

5. Midwest Wireless

6. Mesa Networks

7. CommSpeed

8. AMA TechTel Communications

9. Prairie Inet

10. Camvera Wireless

Profiles of each wireless service provider can be found here.

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