Clearwire widens loss, boosts ARPU

Clearwire widened its first-quarter loss as it continues to roll out the world’s first large-scale mobile Wimax network.
 
It now has 550,000 customers and boosted revenues 21% and ARPU 7%.
 
New CEO William Morrow said the company is launching is Clear-branded mobile Wimax service in Atlanta in June, Las Vegas this summer and in Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth later this year.
 
It is also upgrading existing markets. Clearwire has been quietly offering Wimax throughout most of the Atlanta metro area.
 
“Leveraging our robust pipeline of more than 19,000 cell sites under various stages of design and development, we are planning to significantly extend our wireless 4G network enabling us to potentially cover as many as 120 million people with true broadband mobility across 80 cities by the end of 2010,” Morrow said.
 
Clearwire announced it hired G. Michael Sievert as chief commercial officer  Kevin Hart as CIO and Laurent Bentitou as chief people officer. Clearwire also said that its COO Perry Satterlee is stepping down and Barry West was named president of international.
 
Here's a rundown of the key metrics:
 
Net adds: The company's subscriber base grew to 550,000 at the end of the first quarter from 443,000.
 
ARPU: ARPU was $39.52 (, an increase of $2.66 over the previous year.
 
Revenues and loss: Clearwire's revenue increased 21% to $62.1 million in the first quarter from $51.5 million the year-ago period. The company reported a loss of $71.06 million, or $0.38 per share, from a pro-forma loss of $76.44 million, or $0.41 per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
 
Outlook: Clearwire maintained its business outlook for 2009 and 2010, expecting ARPU to be generally sustained over this period of significant development and expansion of its wireless 4G network.
 
The company continues to anticipate that churn will increase in its pre-Wimax markets as Clearwire transitions these networks to mobile Wimax technology. Clearwire is staying with its earlier guidance that it will spend between $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion in capex costs deploying Wimax in 2009.
 
For more:
- see this release

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