& cplSiteName &

Clearwire Can't Stray From WiMax 'Til 2011

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
10/7/2009
50%
50%

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) cannot switch from mobile WiMax to Long Term Evolution (LTE), even if it wanted to. At least that's the case until 2011 because of an agreement it has in place with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Unstrung has learned.

Recent comments from Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow indicated that the U.S. WiMax operator was open to switching to another 4G technology -- namely LTE -- in the future. (See Clearwire Testing in Silicon Valley as LTE Looms and Clearwire Is a WiMax Company (For Now).)

But the carrier's latest Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August, reveals that an agreement with Intel -- WiMax's biggest backer -- ties Clearwire to the wireless broadband technology in more ways than one.

In the filing, Clearwire affirms its allegiance to WiMax and stresses the cost of changing to another technology:

    We have committed to deploy a wireless broadband network using mobile WiMax technology and would incur significant costs to deploy alternative technologies, even if there are alternative technologies available in the future that would be technologically superior or more cost effective.


But beyond Clearwire's own technology strategy to stick with WiMax, the carrier has made certain commitments to Intel, under what is referred to as the "Intel Market Development Agreement." According to that agreement, Clearwire has:

    ...committed to undertake certain marketing efforts with respect to our mobile WiMax services and are subject to certain restrictions on our ability to commercially deploy alternative wireless broadband or data technology on our networks through November 28, 2011, as long as certain requirements are satisfied.


One of the reasons Clearwire would even consider changing technologies is that vendor support for WiMax devices and infrastructure in the future is uncertain.

"We cannot assure you that… vendors will continue to develop and produce mobile WiMax equipment and subscriber devices in the long term, which may require us to deploy alternative technologies," Clearwire notes.

Clearwire might also consider switching to a competing technology like LTE for competitive reasons, if, for instance, another technology comes along that allows other operators to compete more effectively and deploy more cost effectively than mobile WiMax. This is a scenario, which the filing states, "may require us to deploy such technologies when we are permitted to do so." (See WiMax & LTE: Kissin' Cousins.)

Another part of the agreement with Intel involves a revenue sharing deal on Intel-based devices, like notebook computers. Clearwire will pay Intel a portion of revenues from customers using certain Intel-powered products as well as activation fees for some devices for an initial period.

In response to Unstrung's questions about the agreement with Intel, a Clearwire spokeswoman would only confirm that it exists. "Yes, we have a market development agreement with Intel," she said in an email.

CEO Morrow said last month that Clearwire was a WiMax technology company for the "foreseeable future," and the 10-Q doesn't contradict that. But the limit on "foreseeable" now looks like the end of 2011.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:54:43 PM
re: Clearwire Can't Stray From WiMax 'Til 2011


Just wondering why this debate is always painted as an either-or. Couldn't Clearwire offer both WiMAX and LTE should the market call for both?


I mean -- they've got enough spectrum to do so, if and when LTE surfaces at 2.5 GHz bands. And you could probably combine some of the backhaul/core since it is all IP.


Doesn't AT&T offer DSL and cellular? Why would Clearwire have to ditch WiMAX to offer LTE, leaving funding questions aside?

kaps
50%
50%
kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:54:43 PM
re: Clearwire Can't Stray From WiMax 'Til 2011


Just wondering why this debate is always painted as an either-or. Couldn't Clearwire offer both WiMAX and LTE should the market call for both?


I mean -- they've got enough spectrum to do so, if and when LTE surfaces at 2.5 GHz bands. And you could probably combine some of the backhaul/core since it is all IP.


Doesn't AT&T offer DSL and cellular? Why would Clearwire have to ditch WiMAX to offer LTE, leaving funding questions aside?

joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:54:42 PM
re: Clearwire Can't Stray From WiMax 'Til 2011


Hey Kaps, I guess you should ask Intel, as they apparently appear to see it as an either/or issue.


 

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Top Priorities for B/OSS Transformation
James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst – OSS/BSS Transformation, Heavy Reading, 3/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.