After hooking up with Sprint to bring 3G mobile access to laptops and netbooks with wireless modems through its Best Buy Connect program, the electronics retailer is now partnering with Clearwire to bring 4G WiMax services to its customers. While the 3G version of the Best Buy Connect plan is currently already offered, the 4G service won’t happen until 2011.
Best Buy Connect is similar to the data plans you would get from carriers, such as Sprint, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile. You’d choose your equipment–whether it’d be a laptop with an embedded modem, a MiFi-style router, or a USB data stick–and then add the plan and select the length of the contract. Best Buy’s 4G Connect services is expected to launch on devices next year and will probably follow a contract-free, 1-year, and 2-year subscription model that it offers for 3G services, with the amount of subsidy varying between the length of contract. The company says that it will release pricing details closer to launch. 4G is currently available in a limited number of cities, but a nationwide rollout is expected to happen soon to expand the scope of service.
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