City of Portland Buyin’ Some Clear

June 10, 2009

You have to think this is somewhat of a symbiotic relationship — according to a report published in The Oregonian, the city of Portland has authorized spending up to $405,000 on Clearwire’s ‘Clear’ service, for city employees. Sounds like the city is getting the kind of connectivity it needs, and if that helps out a local business well so much the better for all concerned.

Portland resident Sam over at has some more links as well as extensive coverage of Portland’s troubled experience with muni Wi-Fi provider MetroFi.

If the contract goes through, gotta think it’s going to help those Clearwire subscription numbers.

Clearwire NTK Excerpt: How Many New Subscribers?

June 9, 2009

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from our just-released Clearwire NTK, or “Clearwire Need To Know” report for June 2009, a $4.95 research report that delivers the most up-to-date information available about the nation’s nascent national WiMax provider. In this excerpt Sidecut Reports takes a stab at determining just how many subscribers Clearwire signed up in the first three months of WiMax availability in Portland, Ore. If you like this and want more, order the report — for $4.95 it’s hard to go wrong. (Report also available in Kindle format from the Amazon store.)

Clearwire WiMax Markets Update: On Beyond Portland, With Chicago a Big Target by Year’s End

As a former sportswriter, we always like it best when someone just “tells us the score” instead of trying to fudge the numbers. If we have one main beef with Clearwire’s Q1 earnings report, it’s that the company didn’t break out the Portland subscriber numbers separately, instead only releasing the “25,000 new subscribers” number, a figure that also includes any random signups for the company’s 50 or so existing pre-WiMax markets and its all-but-abandoned market inherited from Sprint in Baltimore.

(Note to Clearwire: Nobody cares about your pre-WiMax numbers, especially since your own strategy is to replace those services with real mobile WiMax as quickly as possible. So please, do us all a favor and at least break out pre-WiMax subscribers and real WiMax subscribers going forward. That way we will be able to tell how well you are really doing, instead of having to subsist on rosy-sky proclamations like the “Portland is selling twice as many subscriptions as any previous market launch.” Without the score, such statements mean very little. Now back to our report.)

Clearwire Las Vegas coverage map.

Doing some very simple math, we estimated the Portland signups (which cover from approximately late December 2008 to March 31, 2009) at 20,000 on the high end. We reached this unscientific conclusion by using the numbers from Clearwire’s Q4 report — 5,000 new subscribers signed up in that period in its pre-WiMax markets and the Baltimore “Xohm” market — and assuming that number stayed flat for Q1 of 2009.

Whatever the real Portland number is — 20,000, or maybe 15,000 — it’s still a pretty impressive figure for a new type of broadband service in a market where there is pretty signficant competition and high penetration from existing services, like cable-modem broadband from Comcast and fiber-backed DSL from Qwest. Even at 15,000 new subs, that means Clearwire is signing up about 167 new subscribers every day — not iPhone numbers, but still a not-insignificant amount of revenue from what is really a second- or third-tier market from a population standpoint.

Want to know more about Clearwire markets for 2009, WiMax devices and business plans for the company? Order our Clearwire NTK June 2009 report for just $4.95 and get everything you NEED TO KNOW about the nation’s nascent WiMax provider.

Clearwire Portland Photo Album

January 26, 2009

If you’re ready to WiMax out a bit, please join us on a photo tour from our geek tour of some of Clearwire’s Portland, Ore., tower sites — some visual info that may help you understand why WiMax has a cost-of-deployment advantage over other wireless technologies.

Or, you may just like looking at towers, boxes and fiber. Either way, on to the tour:

Here’s a shot of an entire Clearwire tower equipment box — small enough to mount on a telephone pole.

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