Follow us:

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.

January 4, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Clearwire commercials in the air

Since Clearwire launched in Seattle during November, it has made a seriously big effort in getting the word out.

The Kirkland company, which is providing a cutting edge wireless broadband service, has advertised in the Seattle market via direct mail, a Seattle-specific Web site, newspapers, billboards and all over radio.

It’s very hard to miss.

But there seems to already be a slight change in the message, moving from just getting the word out about Clearwire, to letting people know the service is portable — they can take it with them as long as they don’t mind lugging around a hardback book-sized modem, and finding an electrical socket to plug it into.

The latest radio commercial features a woman who is speed dating. She meets men, including “DSL,” “cable” and “dial-up.” In the quickie introductions to each one, she learns that DSL and cable don’t like leaving the house, and dial-up still lives at home with his parents. When she finally meets Clearwire, it’s a breath of fresh air — he’s flexible and willing to stay in, or go out. Whatever.

Portability is definitely a new idea for broadband. Up until now, people have tended to purchase DSL or cable for the home, and supplement it elsewhere with Wi-Fi. I think the question is, how will people adapt within a household? Typically multiple people may use an Internet connection. If someone takes it out of the house, what will the rest of the household do at home?

I can see it now: broadband family plans.

The commercials also reiterate how important the Seattle market is to Clearwire. It is perhaps the most competitive market it has entered, the most challenging for rolling out ua wireless service in terms of terrain, and it is by far the largest.

In the company’s IPO filing, the “big” factor is clear. In a chart, it lists the 34 markets Clearwire has entered, how long it has been in each market and the number of people it covers.

For the Seattle/Tacoma market, it says it has covered a potential 2.1 million people for one month. The next largest market is in Jacksonville, Fla. where it has 700,000 people for 26 months. The smallest market is in Roseburg, where it has been covering 21,700 people, for 15 months. The median market size is 134,000.

In terms of size, Seattle is Clearwire’s biggest bet yet.

Comments | More in Wireless & telecom

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►