The Clearwire Timeline: What Will Thursday’s Call Add?

February 16, 2011

With no inside knowledge, we are still expecting that Thursday’s scheduled Q4/2010 yearly earnings call from nascent national WiMAX provider Clearwire will yield some solid news about the company’s path forward, including a full explanation of the rumors that say Clearwire will ditch retail operations and focus on being a wholesale provider to partners like Sprint, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

While we have some guesses as to which way things may go — and who may or may not be leaving the company sometime soon — we’ll wait for the official word and report immediately after. (You can also follow us on Twitter, @paulkaps, for off the cuff reactions to the news on the call which starts at 1:30 Pacific Time.) As a public service we present the following timeline with Clearwire historical highlights — please feel free to add your own in the comments.

CLEARWIRE HISTORICAL TIMELINE

(An unofficial review of the top events in the history of Clearwire, the provider of a WiMAX 4G network in 71+ markets in the U.S.)

August, 2004 — Clearwire debuts in Jacksonville, Fla. (Though Clearwire’s technology is a proprietary WiMax-like flavor, it is close enough to real WiMax that Clearwire’s planned switch to standards-based gear should not cause undue hardships to the company and its customers.)

October, 2004 — Intel Capital signs on as a Clearwire investor, the first of many WiMax investments from Intel.

May 2005 — Intel and Sprint announced a “joint effort” to advance mobile WiMax, with no mention of funding or investment.

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Clearwire’s New Chairman: A Trusted McCaw Ally

January 18, 2011

Founder Craig McCaw may have resigned as chairman of WiMAX provider Clearwire, but don’t doubt that his influence is still being felt there. The company announced today that board member and longtime wireless industry exec (and key McCaw ally) John Stanton was elected as chairman of the board, thereby guaranteeing that McCaw will at the very least have a close ally at the top of the company he helped found.

Sam Churchill over at Dailywireless.org has a good thorough writeup of the Stanton move with some pertinent links. What we are watching for at Clearwire is the re-emergence of dealmaker Ben Wolff, the company’s first CEO and the mastermind (from what we have heard) of the complex financial investment deal that birthed the new Clearwire in the first place. Can Wolff, who convinced players like Intel, Comcast and Google to invest a combined $3.2 billion in Clearwire back in 2008, work his dealmaking magic again? That’s the billion-dollar question around Clearwire these days.


4G Wrapup: Clearwire Prepaid, MetroPCS LTE, Verizon ‘Cloud’ Ads

August 27, 2010

Before we take a little end-of-summer break here at Sidecut Reports, a quick recap of some of the 4G news breaking this week:

CLEARWIRE’S MYSTERY MARKET REVEALED: Credit to the always-digging Tricia Duryee at mocoNews.net for uncovering an SEC document that shed some more light on Clearwire’s announced announcement next week. Of course yours truly speculated somewhat correctly when asked earlier about the pending news. Still would like to hear more about Clearwire’s WiMAX phones, though!

METROPCS LTE COMING IN SEPTEMBER? That is the word on the street, with services in Las Vegas and perhaps Dallas/Fort Worth, according to various reports. Without pricing and data-cap information, however, it’s hard to get too excited about any LTE plans or try to compare them to the WiMAX-based 4G services now being sold by Clearwire, Sprint and partners. Still, the more 4G the better, we say!

VERIZON’S POCKETSPOT ADS — GOOD! Caught some of the new Verizon TV ads this week, specifically the ones touting the “pocketspot” capabilities of the new Droid phones from Big Red. While you could quibble about how fast five people might use up the 5 Gb monthly limit on Verizon 3G data plans, the ads are well done and explain the Wi-Fi “cloud” feature very well with some special-effects cloud magic. Just a small hint of what could be forthcoming in the way of 4G marketing from a company with admirable assets in that department.