“I believe that the biggest threat to the future of mobile in America is the looming spectrum crisis.”
– FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, October 2009
Is the wireless world running out of available airwaves? From a certain perspective, it might seem that way. The struggles of AT&T’s attempts to keep its iPhone customers happy have become a national news story, and government officials are already working on plans to free up more wireless spectrum for use by mobile broadband providers, anticipating an industry-wide need in the near future.
And though Verizon Wireless is quick to tout its network’s strengths over that of its main competitor, even Verizon’s chief technology officer is already talking publicly about how scarce network resources may soon put an end to all-you-can-eat wireless data pricing. At the center of these concerns is wireless spectrum, specifically the licensed, regulated airwaves over which wireless providers send their signals — and what will happen if the largest wireless networks run out of room.
This week, the FCC is expected to announce a National Broadband Plan that will in part include some provisions for freeing up more spectrum — but even the most optimistic projections don’t see any new spectrum coming on the commercial marketplace anytime soon, given the years-long legal wranglings that any spectrum switches will entail. So for many providers and their potential users, the spectrum crisis is looming and real.
Standing aside from this quandry, however, is nascent national WiMAX provider Clearwire Corp. (Nasdaq: CLWR), which is now in its second full year of mobile-WiMAX market launches. Unlike the country’s cellular giants, Clearwire actually possesses a wealth of spectrum riches. In many major population markets in the U.S., Clearwire has at least two to three times as much spectrum “depth” as AT&T and Verizon, holdings that will allow Clearwire to provide high-speed data to millions and millions of new customers, without having to rely on the government or industry to re-allocate airwaves anytime soon.
In our latest report, titled Clearwire’s Spectrum: The 4G Advantage, we cover in detail the historic underpinnings of the 2.5 GHz band that Clearwire uses, the business decisions and events that put the company in control of the spectrum, and how its breadth and depth give Clearwire a market advantage over its wireless-provider competitors. In a nation facing a “spectrum crisis,” Clearwire stands alone in having enough available airwaves to build a “network of networks,” both now and as far into the future as its builders can see. Download our free report and learn why.