Comcast CEO offers insight on Clearwire investment

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts shed a little more light on the company's reasons behind investing more than a billion in the new Clearwire. Comcast, TimeWarner, Sprint, Google and Intel and others are all investors in the new Cleawire, which will go ahead with plans to launch a nationwide mobile WiMAX network.

Roberts addressed his company's investment during the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference in New York, where he declared "that there was no opportunity out there quite as elegant." To start with, Comcast is getting a wholesale "founders deal" for its 7 percent, $1.5 billion investment, and that the partners involved in the deal all have a desire "to create a, wow, better-than, not a me-too, high-speed experience for a variety of applications."

Roberts said he became a WiMAX convert partly because of Clearwire's WiMAX demo that showed video at 50 miles per hour. He also mentioned that the assets of the deal--namely 150 megahertz per market of spectrum and the 3G roaming component of the deal--helped the company decide in favor of Clearwire rather than the other wireless plans it was considering. Roberts indicated the roaming piece was critical in getting the venture off the ground.

To read more about Roberts' Cleawire comments:
- check out this article from Unstrung

Related stories:
Seybold: The New Clearwire- Will it succeed? Read this Clearwire commentary
New Sprint-Clearwire deal a shot in the arm for mobile WiMAX. Read this Cleawire editorial