Clearwire Targets 31 Cities for LTE TDD

The wholesaler pitches for more partners to get on board as it plans to activate hot zones in the biggest US cities

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

April 26, 2012

2 Min Read
Clearwire Targets 31 Cities for LTE TDD

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) is kicking off the first phase of its Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) network build out, announcing 31 cities where it will turn on the faster network by June 2013.

Markets to get the LTE TDD "hot zones" include congested urban cities New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle; Clearwire said it would name the other 26 locations later. The LTE Advanced-ready network will include up to 8,000 sites.

Testing is underway, CEO Erik Prusch said on the company's first-quarter earnings call Thursday. Clearwire has not disclosed its vendors for the deployment.

Clearwire plans to spend between $350 to $400 million on the buildout, around $100 to $150 less than originally anticipated. Thanks to a sizable cash infusion from majority owner Sprint, it has $1.4 billion on-hand for the buildout. (See Clearwire Close to $200M in Vendor Financing .)

"We believe we'll be the first operators in the U.S. to push the limits of LTE technology, giving us the advantage of higher speeds and the best capacity in the nation," Prusch said.

The wholesaler continued to add new customers and partners ahead of launching its LTE network. Its first-quarter losses narrowed to $181.8 million from $226.9 million last year, and it added 586,000 subscribers for a total of 11 million -- up 80 percent from the previous year.

Sprint and Cricket Communications Inc. have signed on for Clearwire's forthcoming LTE network, and FreedomPop and Simplexity will resell WiMax. Clearwire also got a boost yesterday when Sprint announced it would offer prepaid services from its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA Inc. (NYSE: VM) brands over Clearwire's WiMax network. (See Sprint's Wild Week, Cricket Leans on Its Competitors for LTE, Cricket Taps Clearwire for LTE, FreedomPop Bets on 4G With Clearwire and Sprint's $2B Debt Play May Help Clearwire.)

Spectrum savior?
While all the wireless operators in the U.S. are bemoaning the spectrum shortfall, Clearwire's Prusch also tried to pitch the company as their one-stop savior. He said the supply of greenfield spectrum in the U.S. is insufficient, which is why Verizon Wireless 's cable deal has gotten a great deal of attention in the past few weeks. But, he doesn't believe Verizon's plan to acquire AWS spectrum from the cable consortium is practical or comprehensive enough. The better answer? Partner with Clearwire, of course. (See Verizon's Spectrum Auction: Winners & Losers .)

"We believe we're a better alternative than trying to piece together fragments of spectrum," he said, adding that Clearwire's 2.5GHz spectrum is ideal for data and for LTE TDD.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like