Clearwire posts Q2 loss, says Clearwire/Sprint merger on target

Clearwire said its losses increased in the second quarter to $199.1 million, or $1.21 per share, compared with a loss of $118.1 million, or 72 cents per share, in the second quarter 2007. Revenue increased to $58.6 million from $35.5 million a year ago.

The operator, which plans to deploy certified mobile WiMAX in select markets later this year as well as merge with Sprint Nextel's WiMAX business, added 18,400 customers in the second quarter, representing a growth of 54 percent compared with 2007. Clearwire says its merger plans with Sprint Nextel's WiMAX business is on track to be finalized by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval and approval from Clearwire's board. Google, Intel and cable companies are investing some $3.2 billion in the new company.

CEO Ben Wolff said during the company's conference call with analysts that Clearwire's deployment plans for its four planned mobile WiMAX networks are ramping up with its Portland, Ore., market moving from network readiness testing to operational readiness testing. Portland will be commercially launched in the fourth quarter, he said.

Clearwire's networks in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Grand Rapids, S.D., could also be launched by the end of the year, Wolff said on the call, but the timing of their deployments depends on whether the deal with Sprint closes on time and whether Clearwire will pursue additional funding in the interim.

Meanwhile, Sprint, which announced it lost 901,000 wireless subscribers in the second quarter, significantly reduced its spending on WiMAX in the second quarter, likely in preparation for the division's merger with Clearwire. After upping its spending on WiMAX in the first quarter, spending $236 million, the company said spending fell to $100 million. Sprint plans to launch WiMAX in Baltimore next month.  

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