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Intel said it plans to sell up to 10 million Clearwire shares it owns in an effort to “rebalance its portfolio” and reap tax benefits. The decision, which will reduce Intel’s stake in Clearwire by about 10 percent, sent Clearwire’s stock down 12 percent in morning trading.

In January 2009, Intel booked a $950 million non-cash charge on its investment in Clearwire. According to the Wall Street Journal, as of the end of 2010, Intel Capital held about 10 percent of the equity in Clearwire. Clearwire’s 10-K shows that other Intel entities control another 65.6 million Class A shares and another 44 million shares of Class B Common stock.

Between its holdings through Intel Capital and the other entities, Intel owns about one third of the equity in Clearwire and holds about 10 percent of the voting power.

Clearwire said last week it no longer plans to sell any of its spectrum to raise additional funds–at least not in 2011. Clearwire’s new wholesale pricing deal with Sprint Nextel will bring $1 billion in cash to the company over the next two years, providing Clearwire with sufficient cash to fund operations for the next 12 months.

Sprint is expected to use Clearwire’s 2.6 GHz spectrum to provide LTE services.

According to research firm iSuppli, the number of LTE wireless service subscribers will grow to 10.4 million this year and 50 million in 2012 as more than 30 mobile operators plan to launch LTE services this year.

Meanwhile, global subscribers of WiMAX services, are expected to reach 22 million next year from an estimated 14.9 million in 2011.

It could be argued the FCC killed WiMAX. They auctioned the public’s spectrum, in the AWS, 700 MHz and PCS bands, into frequency pairs. Just like the voice-dominated carriers wanted.

Unfortunately, half the spectrum is “wasted” listening with FDD frequency pairs. Everyone knew data would dominate, and that asymmetric TDD – like WiMAX – made more efficient use of spectrum. But money talks. The deal was done.

Today, we pay twice as much for cellular data because the FCC made inefficient use of the spectrum. TD-LTE, could have worked, too, but at the time of the big auctions, it just wasn’t real. WiMAX would have made a better alternative. It can use licensed and unlicensed spectrum. It’s cheaper, comparable in speed, and more flexible. It can do both TDD and FDD.

Intel had the right idea with WiMAX. So did Clear and Sprint. But we got VHS, not BetaMax.

Life goes on.

From Sprint’s point of view, the ideal situation may be to refarm their 800 MHz Nextel frequencies for LTE, and utilize Clear’s 2.6 GHz infrastructure for LTE in urban areas. That would avoid the GPS controversy of Lightsquared, while utilizing their current spectrum and infrastructure. LTE-Advanced is going to need 20Mhz x 2 or 40MHz. They won’t get it from Lightsquared.

According to research firm iSuppli, the number of LTE wireless service subscribers will grow to 10.4 million this year and 50 million in 2012 as more than 30 mobile operators plan to launch LTE services this year.

The cost of expensive wireless data is a political timebomb. Everyone senses that.

The obvious solution for both Microsoft and Google is probably an auction of television frequencies for non-dominant carriers. Backhaul for developing countries could be aided by a Cisco Router in Space. It will be Armagideon when they battle cellular carriers.

Just in time for 2012. That’s a joke.

Related DailyWireless Space and Satellite News includes; Harbinger: 59MHz or What?. Time Warner Cable + Lightstream?, Lightsquared Signs Cricket Wireless, Another Rumor: Lightsquared + Sprint?, Lightsquared + Sprint?, Charlie’s Big Play, LTE Spectrum: It’s War, Lightsquared: What GPS Interference?, Harbinger Sells Inmarsat Shares, FCC Green Lights Lightsquared, T-Mobile: No Spectrum Deal…Yet, LightSquared: In Trouble?, Lightsquared Unfurled, MetroPCS Eyes TerreStar

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