Sunday, November 30, 2008

The New Clearwire Sets Course

Clearwire will drop the "Xohm" branding and adopt a new "Clear" branding for its mobile WiMAX services.

In a conference call to follow-up on last week's closure of the Clearwire-Sprint deal, Benjamin G. Wolff, CEO of the new Clearwire, said the new company now possesses the three key ingredients needed to revolutionize the broadband wireless market:

  • Extensive spectrum holdings -- Sprint contributed its entire 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings to Clearwire. With this combined spectrum portfolio, Clearwire now has 100 MHz or more of 4G spectrum in most markets across the U.S. Clearwire plans to deliver 2-4 Mbps and peak rates that are considerably faster.

  • An All IP next generation Network Architecture, based on standard mobile WiMAX technology. The company noted that there are now over 80 suppliers in the WiMAX ecosystems.

  • An Open Internet Business Model -- the network will be open to devices, application and services from third parties. The company confirmed that new devices based on the Android platform are in development.

Clearwire has not yet announced its market rollout schedule, but said most of its 46 planned markets would be upgraded to mobile WiMAX in 2009. The company will offer a dual-mode broadband service that lets customers roam onto Sprint's 3G network in locations where mobile WiMAX is not available.

The company also announced today that, while its company name will remain Clearwire, its new mobile WiMAX services will be branded Clear. The Clear brand will apply to all new mobile WiMAX services to be offered by Clearwire in the U.S. and will be phased in to those markets where Clearwire offers pre-WiMAX services, as these existing markets are upgraded to mobile WiMAX technology. In addition, the company unveiled a new marketing tagline, "Let's Be Clear," that will be used in conjunction with the new Clear service brand in upcoming market launches.

"As we roll out our network across the country, people will no longer have to make the choice between speed and mobility. We are bringing a new mobile Internet experience to customers at speeds previously relegated to fixed locations," said Benjamin G. Wolff. "With significant spectrum holdings yielding unmatched network capacity, a next-generation all-IP network, and an open Internet business model, Clearwire will deliver a simple value proposition aimed to improve productivity and make the Internet experience more enjoyable, wherever our customers happen to be."

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