Clearwire today announced the transaction of the merger between Sprint, Google, Intel, and Cable Operators. PhoneNews.com was on the conference call, and we have the key details announced on it.
The Mobile WiMAX operator did not provide specifics on when, exactly, their existing pre-WiMAX network would be upgraded to the same WIMAX revision that Sprint’s XOHM is using, or when XOHM’s network would be integrated. Sprint’s XOHM management team will combine with Clearwire’s. Clearwire did say that they plan to upgrade the existing Clearwire network some time in 2009.
But, Clearwire did drop some hints of a plan. In the first half of 2009, Clearwire will integrate Sprint’sÂ infrastructureÂ and core network operations, which would fall in-line with expectations for a fall hard launch of a consistent WiMAX network in over 50 markets.
As to branding, XOHM will be phased out, and Sprint will use Clearwire directly to sell WiMAX services. The new brand will be called, simply, Clear. Clearwire will continue to be used as a brand in markets which have already launched Clearwire services. Clear profits will be shared between Sprint and Clearwire, but further co-branding (such as hybrid EV-DO/WiMAX options) was not discussed.
Clearwire also touched on LTE. The company attempted to rationalize that WiMAX vs LTE was not a platform war, similar to CDMA vs GSM/UMTS. Because both 4G technologies are fully IP-based, Clearwire argues that the two platforms will be much moreÂ interchangeable, without requiring devices to be significantly modified. The company even went as far as to indicate that their network would be in an advantageous positioned to transition to LTE, if WiMAX ultimately failed to gain traction.