Clearwire’s WiMAX rollout becomes clearer today with the announcement of 10 additional markets launching on September 1. It also become murkier because of where those markets are. Here’s the list:
“Boise, Idaho; Bellingham, Wash; and eight markets throughout Texas, including: Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Killeen/Temple, Waco and Wichita Falls.”
Nothing against those areas at all because this is great news for folks that live and/or work in the 10 areas soon to get WiMAX from Clearwire (s clwr). But it makes me wonder even further about the financial impact of the rollouts. I heard it directly from Dan Hesse last year that Clear only had 60% of the capital needed to complete the national rollout plans. My guess is that’s the reason for the smaller markets getting lit up next — they’re smaller than larger metro areas such as San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York, and therefore cheaper to get going. If that’s true, and I admit it’s a big if, will the customer base in these smaller markets enable the company to keep cash flowing? Or is there not enough of a potential user base to earn enough revenues to keep the rollout rolling?
Time will reveal all, so we’ll see. For now, residents in the 10 new markets can get geared up for some high-speed wireless broadband that offers reasonable daily and month-to-month rates.