Clearwire has announced that it intends to support LTE Advanced within its core network infrastructure by building on its recently concluded Phoenix, Arizona based trials and entering into new agreements with wholesale partners ahead of an eventual commercial launch within the next 18-24 months.
The current WiMax cellsite network will be upgraded with LTE Advanced equipment in preparation for the rollout of LTE, but the company stresses that it will continue to support WiMax and that the move to add LTE Advanced compatible equipment is meant to expand its wholesale business.
Clearwire’s current spectrum holdings, once fully deployed using LTE Advanced will allow it to surpass current FDD LTE based networks utilized by both Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS by allowing for speeds of up to 120Mbps on the downlink and 25Mbps on the uplink using a TDD based LTE network using 2×2 and 4×4 MIMO antennae arrays along with 20MHz channels for data transmission on the 2.5GHz band, much wider than the current 10MHz channels for data transmission used by both Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS for deliving LTE access to their customers on their respective transmission bands.
This means that Clearwire has chosen LTE Advanced as its future 4G standard for wholesale access while currently supporting 4G WiMax services ahead of the eventual transition and for the foreseeable future as the consumer level offering, with the goal to sell LTE access to MVNOs for resale and businesses looking for high bandwidth high capacity data access with low latency. Â Below, comments from the executive team.
“ClearwireÂ plans to raise the bar again for mobile broadband service in the United States,” said John Stanton,Â Clearwire’s Chairman and interim CEO. “Our leadership in launching 4G services forced a major change in the competitive mobile data landscape. Now, we plan to bring our considerable spectrum portfolio to bear to deliver an LTE network capable of meeting the future demands of the market.”
“This is the future of mobile broadband,” said Dr. John Saw,Â Clearwire’s Chief Technology Officer. “Our extensive trial has clearly shown that our ‘LTE Advanced-ready’ network design, which leverages our deep spectrum with wide channels, can achieve far greater speeds and capacity than any other network that exists today.Â ClearwireÂ is the only carrier with the unencumbered spectrum portfolio required to achieve this level of speed and capacity in the United States.”
“In addition, the 2.5 GHz spectrum band in which we operate is widely allocated worldwide for 4G deployments, enabling a potentially robust, cost effective and global ecosystem that could serve billions of devices,” Saw added. “We anticipate that the economies of scale derived from this global ecosystem will act as a catalyst for the development of thousands of low-cost devices and applications. And, since we currently support millions of customers in the 2.5 GHz band, we know that our LTE network won’t present harmful interference issues with GPS or other sensitive spectrum bands.”