In an interview with the Seattle Times, Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow expressed confidence that the mobile WiMAX provider would continue to receive enough funding to keep up its aggressive buildout plans. In addition, he said that the carrier's forward position in the mobile broadband market will ensure the investment dollars keep coming.
"If you consider just for a moment the opportunity to grow in this marketplace, where almost everybody confirms the real growth is going to be in a broader-band wireless mobile play, we're in the sweet spot," Morrow said. "Sprint is relying on us to do that for them, the cable companies don't have their own access for this and there's really no other carrier with the spectrum to be able to launch into this area, other than AT&T and Verizon, and this is a brand new space."
Sprint Nextel, which has a 51 percent ownership stake in Clearwire, operates as an MVNO for Clearwire's service. Comcast and Time Warner, two other Clearwire investors, are also MVNOs of Clearwire. Comcast has already launched mobile WiMAX service in several markets, and Time Warner plans to launch its own mobile WiMAX offering later this fall. Clearwire plans to deploy its mobile WiMAX service in more than 25 markets by year-end, reaching approximately 30 million people.
In the interview, Morrow also said that there are several consumer electronics companies interested in adding WiMAX to their gadgets for connectivity, similar to the relationship Sprint has with Amazon's Kindle products.
"What we're seeing is interest among consumer electronics companies--I think much like what Amazon did with the Kindle--saying I've already got a distribution channel set up, I've already got a brand name that I want to support, I have products that access the Internet and networked," he said. "All I really need is a 4G, high-capacity, high-speed, high-video-capability network and I'll take care of the rest. We're seeing people interested in this."
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