Portland cost $45M to unwire

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

February 9, 2009

1 Min Read
The Cost of Clearwire

NOON -- Want to understand the costs that face Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) in its planned WiMax buildout? Well, a new piece from CNN Money has some interesting numbers I don't recall seeing before.

The article says that Clearwire had to equip 300 transmission towers at about $150,000 each with WiMax in Portland, Ore., bringing the price tag for the deployment "to about $45 million." "What you see in Portland is the approach you'll see us take in other markets," Scott Richardson, Clearwire's strategy chief, says in the piece. "You've got to have coverage across the entire metropolitan area to begin a network."

CNN uses this yardstick to estimate that it could cost $4.5 billion, to cover half the nation's population with a WiMax network. Of course, it is difficult to exactly get to that figure using the cost of a single-city rollout. Each metropolitan area tends to present different challenges from an RF perpective and so will require different numbers of WiMax radios installed.

Nonetheless, it is easy to see that the Kirkland, Wash.-based operator will be looking to spend its $3.2 billion carefully over the next year or so.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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