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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.

July 6, 2006 at 5:26 PM

Portable wireless on the way

Legendary wireless entrepreneur Craig McCaw is at it again with his new venture Kirkland-based Clearwire.

Nothing more solidifies that notion than Wednesday’s announcement that the company would receive $900 million from Intel and Motorola. As part of that deal, Clearwire also sold its equipment subsidiary for an unknown sum. In total now, the company has raised more than $2 billion.

But what may be more interesting to the average Joe — and was only mentioned in one sentence in today’s story — was that the Clearwire service is launching soon in Seattle.

The company is rolling out an early version of WiMax, which blankets large geographies with wireless broadband service similarly to how Wi-Fi covers a Starbucks. It is an alternative to DSL and cable. It’s not mobile, but if you don’t mind lugging around a textbook-sized modem with you, it is portable.

Ben Wolff, who shares the title of CEO with McCaw, wouldn’t say the exact date of the Clearwire launch, but he did confirm it would be coming up shortly. The service will not only cover the city, but stretch from Everett to Tacoma.

Prices vary, but it looks like right now, for basic service, it costs about $20 a month, marked down from $30 a month, for a year’s contract. It’s hard to get more details, but you can check out the company here..

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