Twin Cities' new Wi-Fi option has rural possibilitiesby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Twin Cities wireless customers have a new option, and the technology it uses may eventually bring high-speed mobile Internet to rural areas.
Kirkland, Washington-based Clearwire Corporation is offering a new mobile 4G WiMAX service for Twin Cities area residents.
The arrival of 4G service includes the expectation the faster mobile Internet connectivity will someday be available to rural residents with slower Internet connections, said Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force Chair Richard King, an executive with ThomsonReuters.
"The wireless connectivity could be used to bridge some of the great geographic challenges in the state, lakes, and so forth, to get around sparse population areas where people could get the minimum speed that we set for the state -- ten megabits per second," he said.
King said the more powerful WiMAX technology has a broader reach and needs fewer towers. He expects Clearwire's competitors will announce similar WiMAX mobile service in the next few months.