Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) recently upgraded its network management system so it can better throttle data speeds to certain customers during high usage times on its network.
In a company blog post, Clearwire said it had recently enhanced its network management system to make it more dynamic and selective. Specifically, the carrier said that during times of high network usage, Clearwire will deliver "the best experience possible to the most customers," even if that means limiting, or throttling, the speed for certain high-usage customers. Clearwire said the system is selective and will only affect "the heaviest users, who make up a small fraction of our customer base, during limited times of high demand for shared resources." The company added that the heaviest users consume nearly 10 times the amount of data as average users.
When questioned about the blog entry, a Clearwire spokesman declined to provide more details on the enhancement to the company's network management system, other than to say that the end result is that a few heavy users temporarily will give up some speed during limited times of high demand so that everyone can have a good experience.
Just last March, Clearwire's Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert touted the fact that Clearwire's subscribers were burning through around 7 GB of data per month. Sievert said those high-bandwidth customers weren't an issue because Clearwire, which owns up to 150 MHz of spectrum in some markets, was in a great spectrum position to deliver that type of bandwidth.
Clearwire certainly isn't the only operator that can throttle data speeds during times of high use on the network. T-Mobile USA has admitted to throttling customers if they exceed a data cap of 5 GB. Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel (NASDAQ:S) has said it will not throttle data speeds on its network.
Clearwire: Mobile WiMAX subs eating 7 GB per month
T-Mobile drops cap on 5 GB plan
Policy Control: Tools for the next-generation network, a FierceWireless ebook
Sprint: We won't throttle wireless data speeds on our network
Clearwire open to funding from T-Mobile USA