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Android on WiMax in 2009?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
9/24/2008

A new analyst report from ThinkEquity LLC suggests that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android devices could arrive on the Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) network sometime in 2009, backing up recent comments about the platform by the operator's CEO, Ben Wolff.

The Clearwire head told Unstrung at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment confab that he was expecting devices using the open-source operating system to be launched onto the Clearwire network in the coming years. Wolff just didn't know exactly when that would be. (See CTIA: Clearwire Talks Android & More.)

ThinkPanmure analyst Neeraj Singhania writes in a new research note that launches should be expected sometime next year:

We believe Clearwire will benefit greatly from strong acceptance of Android platforms. Directly, we understand that Clearwire is working with several manufacturers and application developers on Android-based products for its network, likely for 2009 launch. We believe that there are likely several efforts under way that are beyond Clearwire's purview that will be launched on their network, given its open nature.


Google unveiled the first Android phone, the High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) G1, yesterday in New York City. The $179 smartphone will be offered for sale through T-Mobile US Inc. on Oct. 22. (See Slideshow: Switching On Android.)

The possible 2009 launch-date raises an intriguing question, however: Exactly what type of devices could vendors offer over the Clearwire WiMax networks? They may not be mobile phones in the traditional sense.

This is because Wolff said earlier this month that he is not expecting to deploy mobile voice-over-IP on the "new" Clearwire network until 2010. "I don't think you'll see us offer mobile VOIP before 2010, largely driven by the footprint we have," he told Unstrung.

ThinkPanmure is now expecting Clearwire partner Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to launch its first mobile WiMax market in Baltimore on Oct. 8.

"The biggest concern from the developer perspective is the size of the near-term WiMax network, which will be steadily addressed by the Sprint Xohm-Clearwire merger, and the rapid fire launches of Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, Portland, Atlanta, Grand Rapids, Las Vegas, Boston, Dallas, and Philadelphia, plus the 2009 conversion of Clearwire's current Expedience [pre-WiMax] markets covering 16.6M US PoPs," writes Singhania.

Android development partner PacketVideo Corp. has already been clear, however, that the platform should be thought of as more than just a handset or two. Joel Espelien, PacketVideo's vice president of strategy, told Unstrung last week that four out of the world's top five phone OEMs are working on Android devices and that a number of different types of devices could be expected -- from smartphones to dedicated photo and video gadgets.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 3:31:17 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
Pretty sure that breaks at least one of Asimov's laws of robotics. ;-)

DJ
t_newt
t_newt
12/5/2012 | 3:31:17 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
The Android Touch?
joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 3:31:17 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
Somekind of fancy messaging device?

DJ
kaps
kaps
12/5/2012 | 3:31:17 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
I mean, with Google chipping in a half-billion in Clearwire funding, wouldn't the surprise be if there weren't Android devices by next year? Think the deal even specifically said that Android devices would get some emphasis... so not sure what "color" this "report" provides, other than to restate what Google and Clearwire already pledged to do... right?
kaps
kaps
12/5/2012 | 3:31:17 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
I mean, with Google chipping in a half-billion in Clearwire funding, wouldn't the surprise be if there weren't Android devices by next year? Think the deal even specifically said that Android devices would get some emphasis... so not sure what "color" this "report" provides, other than to restate what Google and Clearwire already pledged to do... right?
IPobserver
IPobserver
12/5/2012 | 3:31:15 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
Kumaramitabh, I think you’re off target.

There are vastly more HSPA and EV-DO users than WiMax today, and that will remain the case for years.

If you’re developing mass-market apps/services, you’re going to focus on the biggest user base, no?
lrmobile_kumaramitabh
lrmobile_kumaramitabh
12/5/2012 | 3:31:15 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
What has been quite evident from the beginning is that 3G- Android is only a steppping stone to bigger things to come. Afterall what is an open-source Mobile OS doing in a phone with capabilities which are extremely limited where broadband and wireless applications are concerned.
What we expected to see on Android phones was Youtube Logos instead of plain Google, but that is not the best application of the phone yet.

WiMAX is the medium which Google was waiting for anyway, and it is courtesy print and Clearwire that other Avtars of Android are seeing the light of the day.

However te wait may be getting over- we should soon see Android on WiMAX Handsets, Internet Tablets and WiMax Player- Screens, WiMAx radios, WiMAX video cameras and WiMAX PDAs.

These devices can not be economically designed today- but WiMAX is not about ordinary devices and networks.

Some of the above mentioned are high speed devices, but be ready for a range of low speed devices as well- with continuous connectivity and constant " Talk". Mobile WiMAX allows very low data granularities of a few bits per second without overloading the networks.

Hence WiFi, with its poor security and absence of QoS may start be getting a goi by as the new devices take shape.
For some of the concepts:
http://www.wimax-home.com
freetoair
freetoair
12/5/2012 | 3:31:13 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
Gabriel,

Kumaramitabh is "propaganda puppet" for WiMAX and his BS is worthless crap...
macster
macster
12/5/2012 | 3:31:12 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
I think what Kumaramitabh meant was that Andriod on 3G is a stepping stone to it then being on WiMAX (and LTE???) devices.

Which makes sense - especially given Google's play with CW. Moving forward, the number of WiMAX subscribers and (also importantly) devices will grow - again, makes sense.

t_newt
t_newt
12/5/2012 | 3:31:11 PM
re: Android on WiMax in 2009?
"we should soon see Android on WiMAX Handsets, Internet Tablets and WiMax Player- Screens, WiMAx radios, WiMAX video cameras and WiMAX PDAs.
...be ready for a range of low speed devices as well- with continuous connectivity and constant Talk".

This is true for any IP based wireless network. The Kindle device from Amazon does this now using EVDO--books on demand over the wireless network with small licensing fees paid to Sprint. With a sufficiently widespread and open WiMax network you'll get more of these types of products.

The question is just how widespread and how open with WiMax be? Same questions for LTE.
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