Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

5 responses to “Report: Clearwire Holding Spectrum Auction”

  1. Jeff

    Why is Clear failing? They have a great product.

  2. Christopher Price

    I wouldn’t say Clear is failing per-se, the problem is their product hasn’t really launched yet.

    As we reported back when we gave the Palm Pre Plus our Phone of The Year award, Clear’s service will only reach one out of every three Americans by the end of the year. Clear isn’t even there yet.

    The original Clearwire footprint is a dismal failure and unsellable. It has to be upgraded, but before that can happen, major metropolitan areas have to be upgraded at the behest of Sprint.

    Sprint wants Clearwire to essentially be a part of Sprint. Clearwire wants to take a slower-but-steady approach that gets 4G service into the hands of people stuck with DSL and slower service, while steadily rolling out in metropolitan areas that are underserved by broadband.

    These two companies have somewhat different interests, with technology that can cater to both. So, there is a cash crunch there because of that, and Clearwire hopes to fill it by getting enough money to satisfy Clearwire’s own internal goals as well as Sprint’s fast-track deployment schedules.

  3. Steven Goldfein

    How is auctioning off spectrum going to effect their future growth and development plans?

  4. Christopher Price

    I think it depends on the future of Clearwire as a company.

    Sprint is rolling out multi-mode hardware that can toggle between CDMA, WiMAX and LTE. If you can tap Sprint spectrum to finish rolling out WiMAX, you don’t need all of Clearwire’s spectrum.

    Part of Sprint’s positioning in all of this is that they want to acquire the rest of Clearwire for as little as possible, and make it as unlikely as possible someone else (T-Mobile) would want to touch Clearwire.

    So, Clearwire is facing tough times on purpose. I suspect there is sufficient spectrum left (though the sales are secret, so nobody knows for sure) that Clearwire will be able to complete enough of a WiMAX rollout to force Sprint to share its spectrum if Clearwire is successful.

    If they’re unsuccessful even short-to-mid-term, like I indicated, Sprint will get Clearwire for a steal. And Comcast/Time Warner will have a massive write off. At least Google will be able to save face and say that WiMAX’s success will pay dividends to Android by fueling a competitive marketplace in wireless hardware.

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