Light Reading
New Wimax venture reckons its large pool of spectrum and ready-to-rock mobile broadband services will leave the LTE crew in its wake

Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt

Ray Le Maistre
LR Mobile News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief
5/7/2008
50%
50%

There are two things the new Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)/ Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) WiMax company won't be short of: spectrum and confidence. (See Sprint, Clearwire Create $14.5B WiMax Giant.)

On a conference call today announcing the planned new independent WiMax operator, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse boasted that the new company, with Sprint's and Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum combined, will have a "national footprint" and "the largest spectrum position of any company in the U.S." -- which will leave those mobile operators planning LTE networks playing catchup in the mobile broadband services market.

He added that, because both Sprint and Clearwire have been working for some time towards WiMax service rollouts, the new company, due to be officially formed in the fourth quarter of this year, will be "at least two years ahead of the competition... We have a substantial time-to-market advantage over others who have only just got their 4G spectrum."

That "competition" is AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless , which recently landed their 4G spectrum and plan to build out networks using LTE (long term evolution), the technology many current 3G mobile operators are planning to deploy from 2010 onwards. (See AT&T & Verizon to Use 700 MHz for 4G .)

While that's some years ahead, both Sprint and Clearwire are believed to be within months of (independently) launching WiMax services. "We can realize [4G services] now rather than years down the road," boasted Hesse, perhaps somewhat prematurely, given Sprint's history of missed Wimax launch deadlines. (See XOHM May Launch This Summer.)

Clearwire has been putting its planned WiMax offering through its paces in Portland, Ore., where, according to Clearwire's CEO Ben Wolff (who will head up the new WiMax venture), the company has been achieving up to 6 Mbit/s downstream and up to 3 Mbit/s upstream in vehicles traveling at 60 miles per hour.

"Based on our experience in Portland, we'll be able to exceed anything that the legacy mobile networks can offer. We aim to provide four times the performance at one tenth of the cost of the legacy wireless networks," stated Wolff, though he didn't comment on how competitive the prices would be.

And Barry West, Sprint's CTO and Clearwire president-elect, believes it will be a long time before LTE is ready to make a true 4G challenge to Wimax. "We expect to see only early trials of LTE in 2010 -- it'll take a lot longer" to get a full network and services up and running, carped West, who, as the video below shows, is keen to press home WiMax's 4G credentials.

Putting Clearwire's plans into action
Now the new company, along with its backers, will start fleshing out its WiMax rollout plans. The "new" Clearwire will have a $3.2 billion purse courtesy of its five strategic investors -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) (through Intel Capital ), and three cable operators, Bright House Networks , Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) -- plus whatever cash Clearwire has when the company is finally formed.

Even with the efficiencies that'll come from the new carrier's relationship with majority shareholder Sprint, which will provide collocation at cell tower sites at preferential rates, IT support, IP transport capacity, and an enterprise-focused sales team, that initial cash pile will likely be used up by mid-2010, by which time Clearwire hopes to have 110 million people covered with its WiMax service.

As a result, Sprint and Clearwire believe the new Clearwire will need further funding of between $2 billion and $2.3 billion, which it will seek "opportunistically" from the capital markets as needed.

If all goes to plan, that would enable the company to fund its initial buildout, which it sees covering up to 140 million people by the end of 2010 and, ultimately, more than 200 million U.S. citizens after that.

That's a plan that will come under intense scrutiny, given Sprint's previous WiMax coverage timelines: In August 2007 it said it would have 19 markets covered with WiMax services by the end of April 2008, and have 100 million within service range by the end of 2008, yet the operator is yet to declare the service available. (See Sprint & Samsung in NYC WiMax Push.)

In the meantime, Sprint has other issues to contend with, including speculation about potential takeover offers and the future of its iDEN network. (See Sprint: 4G & M&A Still Unclear and Sprint 'Committed' to iDEN .)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
wap545
50%
50%
wap545,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:41:20 PM
re: Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt
Until the new Clearwire deploys a AWS or a White Space based WiMAX network Verizon Wireless LTE network, when deployed, will effectively put them out of business. LTE and 700Mhz will allow VW and AT&T to provide universal true 4G type coverage nationwide.
The New Clearwire will focus on major Metro/Urban markets where they can leverage the Multipath nature of OFDM-Rural will come later if ever in 2.5Ghz..
Nobody is talking about the limitation any Wireless Network based on 2.5Ghz network will have with the absorbtion properties of Foliage in a serious carrier grade Wireless Nationwide network, especially in Rural markets.
Sprint has always focused its Cell (EV-DO) network in major Urban markets and left much of the coverage lacking in Rural areas other then the desert far West.

These folks are using 2.5Ghz because they own it Nationwide and want to get a network underway ASAP, which makes a great deal of financial near term sense.
Intel and the MSO will eventually influence the major players (Sprint and Clearwire) to move off of 2.5Ghz ASAP. The MSO have a great deal of AWS Spectrum that would work nicely with WiMAX and there are many spectrum owners with AWS that would be willing to work with (Partner) the New Clearwire nationwide.
Some one need to ask Intel, on the record, how long it would take them to deploy a AWS, 700Mhz or even White Space based Centrino product for WiMAX.

Jim (aka Jacomo)
lrmobile_jepovic
50%
50%
lrmobile_jepovic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:41:16 PM
re: Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt
At 2.5 Ghz, it's practically line-of-sight to get the bandwidths that Clearwire predict. Plus outside antenna, etc. The laws of physics do apply to Wimax as well.

One could add that LTE will have a huge advantage in terms of terminals. Laptops will surely handle both, but I doubt there will be much interest from the vendors in creating handsets for such a marginal market.

Clearwire will compete from day one with the Wifi & fixed broadband (DSL or cable) combo that most people use today, plus the HSDPA services. They will get 2 years time before LTE arrives, if they can convert slideware into services.

And that's the US, where the spectrum allocation is in Wimax's favor. In other countries, where HSPA is already widespread and the spectrum allocation is less favourable, mobile Wimax has absolutely no chance.

So yes, mobile Wimax is the new CDMA. Except I think it will peak at 2% rather than 20% global market share.
freetoair
50%
50%
freetoair,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:41:16 PM
re: Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt
The comparison with LTE has gotten ahead of itself. Theory is one thing - reality is another.

Frankly HSPA is kicking WiMAX's butt right now in terms of subscriber reach and is / will be shown to be competitive with WiMAX in terms of throughput. Show me some real-world, loaded system results for WiMAX .16e? Not there. But it is pretty clear for HSPA.

Verizon/ATT will continue to grow. At least Sprint got XOHM off thier balance sheet (apparently). But now what?

As for Clearwire - big mountain to climb.
Look at Korea for example...KTF HSPA nationwide, KT WiBro in part of Seoul. KTF has millions of subs on HSPA while KT WiBro has a ~150k subs. Upgrade to HSPDA did not require any need site buildouts. Wibro is all new sites.

So Clearwire will spend $B to build out network 2.5GHz - meanwhile HSPA contniues and as Jacomo points out 700MHz is available in the future.

Got to hand it to Intel -- they are the "Hillary" of WiMAX. But at some point you have to face reality.
freetoair
50%
50%
freetoair,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:41:15 PM
re: Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt
well said.
AllKindsOfThings
50%
50%
AllKindsOfThings,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:40:57 PM
re: Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt
... ah - thanks. I aways wanted to know where the terminology "hllarious" came from ;-)

Clearwire, Nextel and even Intel might be confronted with the results of overly succesfull marketing. They might have put somewhat more on the plate than they can swallow.

Being Icons for their respective US markets does even stand in the way to undersztand that several key proportions of the global market are not today and will also not for the foreseable time be defined by a US centric approaches.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
U-verse Growth Slips But Still Strong
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2014
Salary Survey Report 2014
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Facebook: 30% of Users Are Mobile-Only
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/24/2014
Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed