It didn’t take Clearwire long to get aggressive with pricing. They recently introduced a $55/month plan for Clear service, offering unlimited access for both home and mobile broadband usage. It’s somewhat of an early test of one of Clear’s value propositions – a replacement for wireline broadband and 3G wireless broadband. On the surface a $55/plan will be hard to compete with. It may put some pressure on existing 3G providers, as well as wireline DSL providers. Perhaps it lends credence to the predictions of a recent Juniper study that suggested 12% of DSL subscribers will migrate to WiMAX. With the use of VoIP, this plan could conceivably provide customers home broadband, home phone service, and mobile broadband for $55/month (not including equip costs and regulatory fees/taxes) – a pretty compelling story.
As MuniWireless.com points out, the plan may be advantageous to customers who want to take advantage of Clear’s WiMAX enabled Wi-Fi gateway for the home, with the added value and benefit of mobility. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s put it into context. Clearwire’s market reach is severely limited, only serving three markets (for this type of service) including Portland, Baltimore, and Atlanta. Additionally, the current availability of WiMAX enabled devices appears on a very short list. So while this plan may be a leading indicator of competitive battles to come, it probably doesn’t have Clearwire competitors shaking in their boots today.
Should they be?