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Huawei's Clearwire Ride?

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

A new report in The Wall Street Journal elucidates what Unstrung has previously heard: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. may be in the running for a mobile WiMax contract with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR).

Unstrung reported March 4 that Clearwire was talking to new WiMax suppliers and to Huawei in particular. ThinkEquity LLC analyst Eric Kainer said at the time that Clearwire was in contact with Huawei and actually testing the vendor's equipment in its Las Vegas market, which is expected to go commercial later this year. Both Clearwire and Huawei refused to comment on the report (See Clearwire: Tight Tier 1 Focus .)

The WSJ article cites sources saying that Huawei is competing with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Nokia Networks , and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) for the nationwide WiMax contract, although the operator will probably pick one or more supplier for the job.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) had previously contracted Motorola and Samsung for its Xohm WiMax network buildout, and NSN was to supply the subscriber data management system. Clearwire is basing some of its "Clear" network buildout on work Sprint has already done. (See Sprint Goes WiMax.)

Huawei, however, would be a new name in the frame for the largest planned WiMax network in the U.S. It shouldn't be a surprising name, though, when Huawei's growing international profile in WiMax is taken into account.

Huawei is strongly competing for other major WiMax contracts around the world, such as the $1 billion-plus deal from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) in India. (See Huawei, Telsima Win BSNL? and The Make-or-Break WiMax Deal.) In addition to that, Thomas Lee, vice director of industry standards department for Huawei, has just been added to the board of directors at the WiMAX Forum , along with executives from Clearwire and its partner, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK). (See WiMax Forum Adds to Board.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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12/5/2012 | 4:08:12 PM
re: Huawei's Clearwire Ride?
<div style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; background-color: #ffffff">

The only reason (I can see) why Huawei would undertake such a money-loosing project would be to ultimately transition Clearwire to HSPA+/LTE - but that is of course pure "blogger" speculation at this point...

12/5/2012 | 4:08:12 PM
re: Huawei's Clearwire Ride?

I can see several reasons:

1. A useful stop-gap in the years before LTE. A contract is a contract and you can bet deploying LTE is going to have its own problems just as WiMax-ádoes and 3G did.

2. Huawei gains experience in mobile WiMax/broadband deployments that it can apply in a more general context.

3. Raises Huawei's WiMax profile more, useful since there are still big WiMax contracts to be won globally.


12/5/2012 | 4:08:04 PM
re: Huawei's Clearwire Ride?

Huawei would be willing to do anything under the sun, to creep into the North American market



12/5/2012 | 4:08:02 PM
re: Huawei's Clearwire Ride?

Yes, agree. "Lower cost WiMAX" deployment now with alternate motives longer term.


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