After months of tribulation culminating in the move to LTE and the increasingly marginalized position of WiMax in the world, Clearwire has confirmed that it will eliminate postpaid agreements moving forward and will also cease sales of 3G/4G dual-mode devices as of yesterday via Clear’s refreshed portal. It will instead offer a flat-rate prepaid monthly rate of $50 per month with its current line up of 4G only hardware for both home and mobile service. Continue reading for a screen shot of the new plans.
Clearwire is currently in the preliminary stages of setting up its current infrastructure for the transition from WiMax to LTE, with plans to roll out LTE-Advanced contingent upon the funding being available in order for the build out to be completed during 2012 into 2013.
As a result, Clearwire’s latest moves signal the beginnings of that transition after years of being closely linked with Sprint as its largest wholesale partner, though the elimination of dual-mode devices also signals a further change in the relationship between both companies, becoming increasingly strained in the last few months as Sprint prepares its network for LTE via its network hosting agreement with LightSquared, though both companies have signed a new short-term agreement to continue the current wholesale arrangement during Sprint’s own transition and roll out of LTE by using Clearwire’s planned LTE network as additional capacity, identical to the current agreement for WiMax service.