Clear has joined Sprint

Posted at 9:52:54 PM in Vendors (39) | Read count: 1617

I have never been a fan of Sprint. I tried Clearwire a couple of years ago and found the 4G access to be dismal, even with 5 bars of 4G signal. I discovered back then that the 4G service Clearwire used was provided by Sprint. I returned the router because the service was too spastic. However; recently, due to a requirement for mobility and the pricing structure for Verizon 4G services, I bit the bullet and bought a Clear 4G router. The service still sucks but at least I don't have to pay the ridiculous per GB charge other services require. Clear charges $49.00 for the router and $49.00 per month for the service flat fee, no contract, unlimited download. It doesn't seem like the latter part would be too big of a plus with bad service. I'll discuss the service later, but the first day I got my Verizon 4G data plan (shared family data plan), my son practically consumed all of the 2GB per month I bought in the first day downloading games. If he started on music and movies, I'd have been broke in no time.

Anyway, I was looking into coverage for a Clear router product and discovered that Clearwire has joined Sprint, which, I think is completely bogus. That's the same as saying Toyota has joined Lexus or Verizon Wireless has joined Verizon. Basically the Clear web site (either www.clear.com or www.clearwire.com or even www.sprint.com/clear) has a forwarding statement and re-directs you to Sprint. Then shopping around on Sprint's web site, there are no Clear products. I opened an online chat (which I never think is actually with a sales rep) and find out that you have to call in to order the Clear products. So, what's really happening???

Sprint has been suffering from coverage problems and really can't compete with Verizon for 4G deployment. I am using a Clear router now and find that a second connection to the internet causes extreme latency. For example, my son watches Manga online and I'm working on a remote site. I checked the latency and found with just him watching streaming video, the latency is between 60 and 120. As soon as both activities start up, the latency jumps to 3000 to 5000 msec and frequent dropped packets. I believe this is intentional 'stumping' to prevent over usage of bandwidth as Clear has no bandwidth limit or per GB rates.

I've also done tests of the 4G connection between Clear and Verizon at the same location. Clear's speed test consistently shows 3000 to 4000 Mbps download speeds. Verizon at the same location is twice that speed.

The only way to solve that problem is a large infusion of capital which appears to be the real reason for the merge. It also makes sense NOT to pretend you're not associated with your parent company. The merger is actually an acquisition (that may not be technically correct, but that's the way I visualize it) by a Japanese firm called Softbank. See this article

 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Friday, October 4, 2013 | Comments (0)


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