Clearwire prepared for strategic shift; launches ‘Innovation network’

16 Sep 2009

The CEO of US-based WiMAX operator Clearwire, Bill Morrow, has revealed to Dow Jones Newswires that he would be open to switching 4G wireless technologies in the future if it benefited the company. Despite the company’s aggressive push of WiMAX technology throughout 2009 Morrow said that it could easily switch to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology if it emerged as the dominant 4G platform. Morrow said: ‘We’re the only carrier that can do this… We’ll do what’s right for the business. Whether it’s LTE, WiMAX, future technology X, it doesn’t matter to me.’ The CEO, however, refused to comment on speculation that Clearwire operational partner and shareholder Sprint Nextel could be purchased by Deutsche Telekom, a firm already committed to LTE, but noted that Clearwire was ready to handle shifts in strategy. He stated that the changes would simply require a software update, since many of its routers are compatible with both technologies. Clearwire has deployed its WiMAX ‘CLEAR’ service to 14 cities at the time of writing and hopes to cover over 120 million people in 80 cities with its networks by the end of 2010.

Meanwhile, Clearwire has launched its ‘WiMAX Innovation Network’ in Silicon Valley, California. The initiative is targeted at local developers with the aim of facilitating development of new WiMAX applications. The network initially covers more than 20 square miles and brings 4G wireless services to some of the world’s leading technology developers, including Google and Intel, who have agreed to participate in the scheme.