DirecTV and EchoStar will bring wireless Internet services to their satellite TV customers through a partnership with Clearwire Corp., the WiMax venture founded by cellular pioneer Craig McCaw. Established in 2003, Clearwire currently provides wireless data services, using a technology similar to WiMax, to 258,000 customers in 39 markets. The company aims to expand its service nationwide to reach a population and potential subscriber base of 125 million within five years. Although financial details of the pact were not disclosed, the deal will allow DirecTV and EchoStar to combine satellite TV and wireless Internet in a service bundle that will enable both DBS providers to compete more effectively against cable modem and DSL operators. (While both companies have entered a distribution arrangement with WildBlue for the provision of satellite-based Internet services, that service is said to be slower than what is offered on cable networks.) In addition to linking Clearwire with two high-profile national partners, the agreement also enables Clearwire to market satellite TV services to its customers. As DirecTV proclaimed that the deal “will give our customers another high-quality option to subscribe to broadband services,” Clearwire President Perry Satterlee said: “by incorporating direct-to-home satellite video services in our own distribution channels, we believe we have an opportunity to significantly expand our business opportunity.”