Clearwire Preps For The Possibility Of Moving From WiMax To LTE


Credit: Tricia Duryee

Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) is rolling out WiMax fast. By the end of the year, it anticipates reaching 120 million people and will be offering two 4G phones — one from HTC, the other from Samsung.

But in the inevitability that WiMax doesn’t pan out as the prevailing 4G standard, Clearwire’s paving the way to make the switch easier from WiMax to LTE. During the company’s first-quarter conference call today, it said that it has renegotiated its contract with Intel (NSDQ: INTC), one of its major investors. Previously, the company had committed to WiMax at least until February of 2012. Now it can terminate that agreement within 30 days without any consequences.

In a follow-up interview, Mike Sievert, Clearwire’s Chief Commercial Officer, said the change to the contract doesn’t reflect a new position. “We have been saying for a long time that we are a technology-agnostic company that is focused on rolling out WiMax 4G services to 120 million people this year. But we are open minded, and we are studying and watching them. We’ve built an all IP-based network, so we could do it for a modest cost…It

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