Clearwire Invests in Europe

Broadband wireless service provider Clearwire Corp. -- a startup led by wireless pioneer Craig McCaw -- is said to be quietly building itself a presence in Europe.

The firm has already launched trials in Belgium and Ireland and may now be plotting strategic investments in select wireless service providers on the continent, Unstrung has learned.

The CEO of U.K.-based business broadband wireless provider Libera plc, Robert Condon, told Unstrung on Tuesday that Clearwire has made an unspecified investment in Belgian wireless provider MAC Telecom.

And this may just be the start of its Euro ambitions. "I believe there are several negotiations underway," says Condon.

So far, Clearwire has said that it plans to roll out a broadband wireless network for consumers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico City, using equipment from its subsidiary NextNet Wireless Inc. (see McCaw Clears the Wires). Clearwire has already launched some initial trials in the U.S.

Eventually the firm hopes to have a nationwide wireless network in the U.S., using WiMax equipment. It is possible that the firm is now looking at something similar in Europe.

For its part, Clearwire says that it is "clearly interested in opportunities in Europe" but won't talk about its next steps until it is "further along the operational path."

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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