updated 3/23/2010 5:40:33 PM ET 2010-03-23T21:40:33

Clearwire Corp. said Tuesday that it will expand its wireless broadband network to cover Los Angeles, Miami, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City this year.

Clearwire had already said that it would expand to cover New York, Houston, Boston, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis and San Francisco this year. Right now, Clearwire covers 27 cities with its service, which provides speeds close to DSL for about $30 per month.

The announcement doesn't represent an acceleration of the company's plan. Clearwire had previously said it plans to cover areas with 120 million people by the end of 2010, and it is sticking to that figure.

Clearwire is using WiMax technology. It's faster than cellular broadband offered by wireless carriers, but it doesn't yet work with cell phones. Instead, Clearwire sells WiMax modems for laptops, and some laptops now come with built-in modems. However, Sprint Nextel Corp. announced Tuesday that it will launch a phone this summer that complements its regular functions with access to Clearwire's network for faster downloads, and probably also videoconferencing functions.

Sprint owns a majority of Clearwire and resells service under the Clear brand. Other investors include cable companies, which are looking to sell wireless service to compete with phone companies. Clearwire had 688,000 subscribers at the end of last year.

Clearwire's shares rose 9 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $7.87 on Tuesday.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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