Clearwire looking at multiple new wholesale partners

Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow said the company is actively pursuing additional wholesale partners to use its mobile WiMAX network, and said companies such as T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless and MetroPCS could make sense as partners. He added that Clearwire is in talks with cable companies, satellite companies, smaller telco companies and consumer electronics companies for wholesale partnerships.

"They're prospects for us that potentially could use our network,"Morrow said in an interview with Reuters. In November, Morrow said Clearwire was "ramping up our systems to be able to support even more wholesale customers," but he did not specifically identify the types or names of companies that could be potential partners.

Currently, Clearwire has several wholesale customers that resell its mobile WiMAX service as their own branded products, including majority owner Sprint Nextel and investors Comcast and Time Warner Cable. T-Mobile and MetroPCS have been mentioned in multiple news reports over the past several months as potential Clearwire partners, though neither MetroPCS nor T-Mobile parent Deustche Telekom has commented on the speculation.

Morrow said Clearwire could quickly add LTE technology to its network if it felt it needed to, but said he does not think the LTE ecosystem will bypass WiMAX before 2012. Clearwire plans to have 80 mobile WiMAX markets deployed by the end of this year, covering 120 million POPs. (Verizon Wireless has said it plans to roll out LTE to 25-30 markets, covering 100 million POPs, by the end of this year.)

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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