Clear 4G Harrisburg: Review at the Half-Way Mark

Back on April 28th, I attended a launch party at the Abbey Bar for Clear, a 4G wireless Internet provider that just recently launched service in Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, and Reading.  As part of the event, I received a USB aircard with 30 days’ worth of free service to use as I saw fit.  Previously, I talked about the launch event itself and gave you an extremely basic primer on wireless data.  With that out of the way, let me tell you about my early experiences with the service itself.

Full disclosure:  I received the aircard for free and one month of service for free.  At the end of my evaluation period, I have to give the aircard back unless I want to continue service.

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4G Comes to Harrisburg

As someone who has consistently had mobile Internet since the late 90s, I’m what you would call an early adopter.  About the only technology I missed out on is CDPD.  But ever since the earliest days of circuit-switched 9600-baud data with PCS One, I’ve done it all.  GPRS, EDGE, 1xRTT, EVDO, UMTS — been there, done that.  I’ve even dabbled on closed platforms like OpenSky.  Having worked in the wireless industry for eight years, I don’t need to be sold on how great wireless Internet really is.

If you’ve never tried it, wireless Internet is 27 different kinds of awesome.  Imagine having WiFi readily available everywhere you go (unless you have AT&T).  Doesn’t matter if you’re on the train to New York, sitting in your office on the west shore, or floating down the Susquehanna on a pontoon boat — you can have unfettered, unrestricted, high-speed access to everything, everywhere, all the time.

And late last month, it got even faster.

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How to Alienate Your Customers In 140 Characters or Less

Last week I attended a launch event for Clear at the Abbey Bar in Harrisburg.  Despite the open bar, free food, and promises of free devices with free service, I initially had no interest in going — and I’m not the type of person to turn down an open bar (or, for that matter, free food).  Amusingly, my lack of interest was due entirely to the marketing firm Clear hired to “promote” their event.

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The End of Radio: 2010

About five years ago I posted a diatribe about terrestrial radio. You can read the original post here. The gist of it was that radio was killing itself by refusing to adapt to changing times. And I said that by 2010, traditional broadcasting giants like Clear Channel and Cumulus will be in the fight of their lives against new competitors.

And you know what?  I was right.

In 2007, Clear Channel was voluntarily delisted from the NYSE.  They are traded over-the-counter and have fallen from their opening high of $20 to their current $3.10.  Cumulus shares have plummeted from $14.81 to $2.52 over the last five years.  Citadel is currently bankrupt, probably because they’ve spent the last nine months trading mostly under ten cents per share (although to be fair, they have gained in value by two cents — approximately 50%).

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Sprint and the 99-cent Netbook

I want to take a break from budget-related posting for a moment and go over this sweet, sweet HP netbook I just picked up for $0.99.  Yeah, that’s right — 99 cents.  Less expensive than (but not as tasty as) a double cheeseburger.  Don’t worry, fellow state employees — I will resume my kettle-banging and rabble-rousing on Monday.

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