The Kirkland, Wash.-based mobile WiMax provider became a broadband contender, but always against a backdrop of share price highs and lows, possible legal and regulatory issues, and the constant question of whether Craig McCaw's crew can deliver on the promise of nationwide wireless broadband.
We'll begin to find that out next year. For now, let's review the Clearwire craziness.
10. The Adaptix challenge December 2008 still had a twist in its tail for Clearwire and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) as base-station vendor Adaptix Inc. launched a patent complaint against the pair. Adaptix is claiming that its patents cover Clearwire's plans to offer service using technology based on 802.16e standard, something that could potentially have a more wide-ranging impact in 2009.
- Clearwire Roams With Sprint
- Clearwire & Sprint: On Again?
- Clearwire Q4 Drops, WiMax News Doesn't
- Clearwire's Rumor Ride
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) turned out to be less of an active partner than some had initially expected, at least on the infrastructure end of things.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) could have proved to be the grit in the oyster for Cleawire in the second half of this year. The No. 1 cellular provider in the U.S. complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about spectrum allocation in the Sprint asset merger. Just one of the factors that could have -- but didn't -- trip Clearwire on the way to the finish line in 2008.
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), Google, and the cable companies' investment in Clearwire is one of the few events that actually stands a chance of shifting the wireless status quo in the U.S., however slightly that may be.