Clearwire’s Big Q4: 87,000 New 4G Subscribers Added

On the Clearwire conference call right now, but the numbers are in and they are good for Clearwire: According to its press release, Clearwire added 87,000 net new subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2009, meeting the company’s predicted goal of adding more new users in the last 90 days than during the entire previous three quarters of 2009.

Clearwire also broke out wholesale subscriber numbers for the first time, claiming that partners Sprint Nextel, Comcast and Time Warner Cable combined to add 46,000 additional 4G subscribers during 2009. In terms of new markets scheduled to launch in 2010, Clearwire said that Houston will be the first next big market, going live sometime in the next few weeks. Planned launches in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Denver, Minneapolis and Kansas City would take place later in the year, probably closer to the end of 2010.

On the subject of a hybrid 3G/4G WiMAX phone the company did not provide any new details — while Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow confirmed that the company is planning to provide a WiMAX smartphone, all he would say on timing is that “we expect that to happen later this year.” Sprint, however, said last week that it expects to deliver a WiMAX/3G phone sometime this summer, a device that would use the Clearwire network.

More on the numbers later as we check our math with the Clearwire folks. Our back of the envelope figures show the 4G subscriber count for 2009 at:

– 168,000 total net new 4G subscribers added
– 46,000 wholesale 4G subscribers added
= 214,000 4G subscribers out of Clearwire’s new total of 688,000 subscribers overall (which includes subscribers in existing pre-WiMAX markets)

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