CHICAGO--Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) CEO and President Erik Prusch said that 60 percent of the traffic on his company's network is video, and he expects that growing demand for video will create more business for Clearwire because the operator offers less-expensive data plans than many of its competitors. "We offer $45 per month for unlimited data," Prusch said. "No other operator can do that."
Speaking at the 4G World conference here, Prusch said that he is encouraged by the number of new business models that are being created by mobile virtual network operators such as FreedomPop and NetZero. "We have seen more business models in the past few months than in the past five years," Prusch said.
He added that he expects Clearwire to benefit from this innovation. "A lot of established players are trying to figure out their mobile strategy. One thing they share is a need for infrastructure and network capacity," Prusch said, alluding to Clearwire's role as a wholesale provider to MVNOs.
FreedomPop, an MVNO that resells Clearwire's WiMAX service, recently introduced an iPod touch 4G case for $99. The case, called a "sleeve," is designed to add WiMAX capabilities to an iPod touch via a Wi-Fi connection between the device and the case.
Likewise, NetZero, a low-cost Internet service provider, introduced a prepaid mobile broadband service in March that runs on Clearwire's WiMAX network. The service offers low prices--including a tier of free service--and data download speeds to 10 Mbps.
But troubles continue to dog Clearwire. The company last week significantly cut the number of TD-LTE sites it plans to deploy from 5,000 sites by mid-year 2013 to 2,000 sites. The company said that the reduction in TD-LTE sites was to better align its buildout with that of Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S). Sprint plans to offload excess LTE data traffic onto Clearwire's network.
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