Back in February, Nextel made quite a splash with their surprise announcement that they were offering wireless broadband trials in North Carolina based on Flarion's technology. While Nextel has apparently been looking at a variety of wireless broadband technologies, it appears that they've been happy with the North Carolina Flarion trials so far. They've expanded the coverage area and are now going to accept paying customers to the service, which offers DSL-like speeds. They say it will average 1.5 Mbps down stream and 375 kbps upstream - with burst rates at double that. The cost of the plans will vary between $35 and $75 depending on speeds and other features (such as email accounts and storage). Clearly, this is something of a vote for Flarion's technology, and it will be interesting to see if Nextel continues to expand this offering (which sounds like it would be quite competitive with Verizon Wireless's EV-DO offering) and whether or not they publicly trial other technologies as well. Of course, launching in one location and launching nationwide are two very different beasts, but Nextel has shown that they've got quite a lot of marketing muscle - and are especially good at segmenting and targeting specific markets.
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