Thursday, May 3, 2007

Clearwire and AOL Expand Wireless Distribution Agreement

Beginning this month, AOL will to offer Clearwire's high-speed wireless broadband service to AOL users throughout Clearwire markets in the U.S. Previously, AOL and Clearwire had a joint distribution agreement that covered four Clearwire markets -- Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Stockton and Modesto, Calif. The new joint distribution agreement covers all existing and future Clearwire markets in the U.S. Clearwire is currently available in 38 markets across the country covering more than 400 municipalities including Seattle, Honolulu and Raleigh, N.C.

Cleawire's wireless broadband solution uses licensed spectrum. Radio signals are transmitted from a tower to a small, wireless modem at the customer location.

  • Clearwire, the broadband wireless services provider founded by Craig McCaw, raised $600 million in an initial public offering (IPO).

  • In February, Clearwire agreed to acquire all 2.5 GHz spectrum currently licensed to, or leased by, BellSouth, now AT&T. The sale price is $300 million in cash. For AT&T, the deal follows through on a commitment of the AT&T-BellSouth merger.

  • In January 2007, Clearwire named Scott Richardson as the company's new chief strategy officer. Richardson previously served as vice president of Intel's Mobility Group and general manager of the company's Service Provider Business Group. In these roles, Richardson led Intel's broadband wireless efforts from its inception and was responsible for driving the company's 802.16 silicon products for WiMax Certified wireless equipment and access devices.

  • In July 2006, Clearwire secured $900 million in funding to accelerate its development and deployment of portable and mobile WiMAX networks based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard. The deal included a $600 million investment from Intel Capital, its largest to date, and Motorola's acquisition of Clearwire's subsidiary NextNet Wireless, which supplies OFDM-based non-line-of-sight (NLOS) wireless broadband infrastructure equipment.

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