Clearwire is in talks with a number of carriers, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, about eventually providing LTE capacity on its spectrum, reports C/Net.
“We’re talking to everybody,” Clearwire Chief Executive Eric Prusch said in an interview with CNET today. He said AT&T and T-Mobile will still face spectrum shortages even if they’re allowed to merge
Prusch didn’t specifically name the two, but only said the company was talking to multiple companies when asked about AT&T and Verizon. The company’s decision to move to LTE, a more widely accepted standard of 4G used by other U.S. carriers, has helped spur new discussions.
Worldwide, 10 telecom carriers have announced plans for commercial TD-LTE networks and 32 will set up experimental networks.
Clearwire is shifting into a full wholesale provider of wireless capacity. It’s part of its plan to upgrade its network to LTE. Clearwire’s CFO, Hope Cochran, told a room full of investors yesterday that the company wants to be the “Switzerland of broadband.”
Clearwire is also looking for vendor financing to help pay for its planned rollout of LTE-Advanced network technology. It may have found it with Chinese vendor Huawei. CNET forecasts that it will take roughly one year to finish the network after financing has been obtained.
Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran said vendor financing could be a “large anchor” in Clearwire’s efforts to raise between $150 million and $300 million for the maintenance of its existing WiMAX network and the $600 million the company needs to begin rolling out LTE-Advanced. China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator and announced a collaboration with Clearwire to speed up the development of TD-LTE.
|Taiwan`s suppliers of dual WiMAX/TD-LTE equipment|
|Accton||Networkconnectivity cards, consumer-premise equipment|
|Quanta||Network connectivitycards, consumer-premise equipment, tablet PCs|
|ZyXEL||Networkconnectivity cards, consumer-premise equipment|
|Gemtek||Networkconnectivity cards, consumer-premise equipment|
Sources:the companies and institutional investors
Although Clearwire has signed up 7.65 million subscribers for its WiMAX in the United States, and plans to increase the number to 10 million by the end of this year, the company is still in the red, making the plan to embrace TD-LTE a tricky proposition without more money. Vendor financing, spectrum sales, and wholesale services could finance the jump to TD-LTE.
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