UPDATED: Clearwire delays Denver, Miami retail market launches
Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) delayed the launch of its Clear-branded WiMAX service in Denver, according to a copy of a newsletter that was sent to Clearwire vendors in the Denver area by Clearwire's Brian Lanz and William Passan. The company is reviewing its site selection in Denver, and as a result decided to delay the Denver launch. The newsletter said the company is working to optimize its build plan "in order to deploy as efficiently as possible."
It appears that Denver may not be the only Clearwire market facing a delayed launch. According to TownHall Investment Research, Clearwire's Miami retail market launch is also being delayed and possibly San Francisco.
The newsletter received by Denver area Clearwire dealers provided no details on how long the Denver launch will be delayed. According to a Clearwire vendor who received a copy of the letter and requested anonymity, the Denver launch was originally scheduled for Dec. 19.
Clearwire CTO John Saw would not address the letter about the Denver market or talk specifically about market launches, however he told FierceWireless Associate Editor Phil Goldstein that many of Clearwire's large markets are "back-end loaded," meaning the company can turn them on later in the year when they are ready. During his keynote today at the PCIA 2010 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Hollywood, Fla., Saw said Clearwire is on track to hit its goal of 120 million POPs by year-end.
Clearwire spokeswoman Susan Johnston said that Clearwire remains on track to launch its WiMAX network in Denver and Miami by year-end, as previously announced. Johnston added, "Recently some of our retail and business partners in these two markets received word that we would be delaying the introduction of our Clear-branded retail offering from our own internal timeline; however, this communication should not be misinterpreted. As always, we will provide additional guidance about our market build progress and plans on our next quarterly earnings call."
Johston added that the company will move forward with alternatives to its Clear retail operations in Denver and Miami this year, and the company will provide additional details on its retail launch plans in these markets at a later date. Sprint Nextel, Comcast and Time Warner resell Clearwire service.
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This article was updated at 5:33 p.m. EST on Oct. 5.