Rolling WiMax

PHILADELPHIA -- SCTE Cable-Tec Expo -- Once a pond-full of ducks are in a row for the "new" Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), cable should be poised to deploy WiMax-based services rapidly and aggressively, according to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) COO Steve Burke, one of this morning's opening session panelists.

Burke predicted that Comcast can begin offering WiMax services in some markets six to 12 months after network buildouts begin. But there are still a few hurdles to leap over before the venture makes it that far. For starters, the deal, announced in May, still must pass regulatory muster, and that's not expected to occur until late this year. (See Cable Plays Clearwire Card and Sprint, Clearwire Create $14.5B WiMax Giant.)

However, Burke, echoing earlier sentiment from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse, believes WiMax will give the MSO (and other Clearwire venture partners) a big head start -- as much as two to three years -- over the wireless broadband competition. (See Clearwire: We'll Kick LTE's Butt.) "I think there's a real case... to get moving quickly," Burke said.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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