Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Virgin Mobile USA files for IPO

Virgin Mobile USA has filed for an initial public offering, valued at as much as $467.5 million. The IPO will float 42.8 percent of the youth-focused MVNO, making available 27.5 million Class A common shares at $15 to $17 each--while Virgin Mobile USA plans to sell about 25.6 million shares, stockholders Best Buy and Sprint Ventures will liquidate an additional 1.95 million. Underwritten by Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, the offering will drop Virgin Mobile's stake in the venture from 47 percent to 35.7 percent and trim Sprint's stake from 47 percent to 17.2 percent.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, proceeds are earmarked to repay debt and for general purposes. For the six-month period ending in June, Virgin Mobile USA reported adjusted earnings of $29.3 million on revenue of $667 million. The MVNO plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "VM."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Clearwire Launches Service in Spain

NEW YORK - Wireless Internet service provider Clearwire Corp. said Thursday it launched its Instant Internet, or "Instanet" service in Seville, marking its entry into Spain.

Clearwire (nasdaq: CLWR - news - people ) said its network in Seville covers more than 300,000 households. It employs radio signals using a secure or licensed spectrum, which are transmitted from a tower to a small wireless modem that connects users' computers to the Internet.

Spain follows Ireland and Belgium among European countries in which Clearwire has launched its service.

Shares of Kirkland, Wash.-based Clearwire rose 47 cents, or 2 percent, to $23.46. The company was founded by cell phone pioneer Craig McCaw and went public in March.

Monday, September 10, 2007

ICO and Clearwire to Conduct Mobile Video Trial

Initiative Will Focus on Feasibility of Delivering Mobile Video From Satellite as Part of Mobile Triple Play

RESTON, Va. & KIRKLAND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Limited (NASDAQ:ICOG) and Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) today announced a joint agreement to collaborate on one of the industry’s first mobile video trials. The collaborative effort is at the forefront of the intersection between two-way wireless broadband and satellite connectivity, and will focus on increasing the value and cost effectiveness of delivering an advanced interactive mobile video service to consumers. In addition to testing mobile video broadcast, the trial will also examine the feasibility of utilizing Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum and ICO’s 2.0 GHz spectrum more efficiently. The ICO trial with Clearwire is expected to begin in early 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and ICO is also planning a similar trial in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Our next generation wireless personal broadband networks are built to deliver data, voice and video over a single network,” said Scott Richardson, chief strategy officer for Clearwire. “Working with ICO to trial an interactive mobile video element that can potentially enhance our service offering not only in areas where we don’t intend to build our own network, but that can also potentially enhance the use of infrastructure and spectrum where our coverage overlaps, makes a lot of sense.”

“Mobile two-way video, advanced interactive navigation, plus emergency calling and messaging becomes an even more compelling value proposition when integrated with a wireless broadband network such as Clearwire’s,” added Tim Bryan, chief executive officer for ICO. “We are well positioned to be the first provider of next-generation mobile satellite services, and we have a clearly differentiated offering by leveraging integrated satellite and terrestrial networks to deliver advanced consumer mobility services.”

For the trial, ICO will integrate its Mobile Interactive Media (MIM) suite of services with the Clearwire broadband network. ICO MIM is a converged mobile media service which delivers a wide variety of consumer entertainment and communications services, all based on ICO’s next-generation satellite and terrestrial wireless communication capabilities. For the trial, ICO MIM will provide multiple channels of high-quality mobile video to large-screen user devices. Alcatel-Lucent has been chosen to supply the system architecture and design based on mobile multimedia DVB-SH open standard, and Hughes Network Systems has been tapped to provide the device as well as the interactive elements based upon the proven GMR standard.

About Clearwire

Clearwire, founded in October 2003 by telecom pioneer Craig O. McCaw, is a provider of simple, fast, portable and reliable wireless high-speed Internet service. Clearwire customers connect to the Internet using licensed spectrum, thus eliminating the confines of traditional cable or phone lines. Headquartered in Kirkland, Wash., the company launched its first market in August 2004 and now offers service in 16 states across the U.S. as well as in Europe and Mexico. For more information, visit

About ICO

ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Limited is a next-generation satellite communications company based in Reston, Virginia. ICO is developing an advanced hybrid system, combining both satellite and terrestrial communications capabilities, in order to offer wireless voice, data, video, and Internet services on mobile and portable devices. For more information, visit

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A World of My Own (AWOMO) -Dubbed the iTunes of Online Gaming

Your chance to win a ticket providing free access and games for life. Launching fully later this year, AWOMO will bring a huge choice of the world's best games to gamers in the UK - making them all playable within minutes rather than hours.

The games are set within a 3D virtual world, which will become home to the world's games community by offering hundreds of streamed games and many special features, including live voice chat and high profile competitions to win big prizes.

A limited number of customers can register from today to take part in the Beta testing - to explore the AWOMO world, feedback their experiences to the experts developing it and play free games from some of the world's top publishers.

As special test pilots they will have access to games from some of the top developers and publishers around the world - normally only available in the shops.

When the test is over, if you have completed the test, participants who registered with GAME will be entered into the final draw - and the lucky Golden Ticket winner will get a free lifetime subscription to AWOMO - granting them free games forever!

Everyone who completes the testing will receive offers of up to one month's free membership, plus an exclusive "virtual" item for their avatar to forever identify them as one of the first original AWOMO members, and to claim special advantages.

This offer is limited so anyone wanting to be one of the fortunate few should register now simply by via the link .

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

DoCoMo creates WiMAX joint venture

Japanese wireless giant NTT DoCoMo announced a joint venture with ACCA Networks to deploy WiMAX technology in the 2.5 GHz band in Japan. The partnership was necessary because the Japanese government has banned existing 3G operators, such as DoCoMo, from getting any rights to the 2.5 GHz spectrum. The government wants to encourage new market entrants.

ACCA Networks will be in charge of overall management of ACCA Wireless, such as operation of high-speed wired infrastructure and sales of broadband wireless services. DoCoMo will help construct the wireless access network and provide technical assistance. DoCoMo's stake in ACCA Wireless will be limited to no more than one-third, according to government stipulations, since DoCoMo already offers 3G.

For more about the partnership between DoCoMo and ACCA Networks:
- read this release

Related articles:
- Motorola, Japan's Softbank to trial WiMAX
- NextWave to be only foreign carrier in Japan
- Alvarion's position in mobile WiMAX grows stronger

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Why Is Wall Street Punishing Clearwire?

Posted by Richard Martin, Aug 31, 2007 05:54 PM

It would be unethical of me to offer stock tips in this space, so I'll just phrase this as a question: Why is Wall Street hammering Clearwire Corp.? After reaching a high of $33.30 on July 19th, the share price for the WiMax network startup has declined 37%. And on Tuesday the stock dropped 7% "on no news whatsoever," as The Motley Fool put it.

Actually, there was news that day related to Clearwire, and it was good. EarthLink announced that it is slashing half its workforce and effectively abandoning the municipal Wi-Fi market. Since EarthLink was the highest-profile company contracting to build citywide wireless networks, its exit has thrown the whole future of muni Wi-Fi into doubt.

How's that good for Clearwire? Well let's number the ways.

1. The longer cities wait on building Wi-Fi networks, the more likely they are to just wait forget about Wi-Fi (which is essentially a short-range networking technology) altogether and focus on WiMax. It's amazing, says Carmi Levy, senior vice president for strategic consulting at AR Communications, that "not one person in these city IT departments was asking 'Gee, should we be waiting for WiMax?'"

2. The pullback in muni Wi-Fi doesn't eliminate the demand for widespread wireless networks; it underlines the superior qualities of mobile WiMax systems of the sort that Clearwire is building. WiMax "changes the way people use the laptop," Sriram Viswanathan, who heads up Intel's WiMax strategy, told Reuters earlier this week. Ubiquitous, pervasive high-speed wireless access is still a desirable goal and a workable business model. It's just going to take a bit longer than expected, till network builders like Clearwire (which now says it covers 43 U.S. markets) and Sprint Nextel get their systems fully deployed.

3. EarthLink will almost certainly seek a buyer for its existing Wi-Fi networks, at a bargain price. The value of those systems is not primarily in the equipment, or even in the subscribers: it's in the mounting rights on city light posts and tall buildings. "Imagine a scenario where Clearwire or Sprint built a Wi-Fi underlayment as the entrance ramp to the mobile Wimax network," Ron Sege, CEO of Wi-Fi gear vendor Tropos Networks, told me this week. "You won't need the 40 or 50 cells per square mile that are common in Wi-Fi networks, but you'll need at least 15 or 20 in the WiMax world. In that case those mounting rights to streetlamps become valuable, and [an EarthLink fire sale] could be very opportune."

It's really not that hard to figure why Wall Street is fleeing from Clearwire (Sprint, which also saw its stock dip sharply on Tuesday, is essentially flat for the week). In the wake of debacles like the Google-EarthLink San Francisco network project (which collapsed this week), anything that has the words "wireless" and "municipal" and "networks" in the same sentence looks like a loser. It's the EarthLink contagion. I'm predicting now that it won't last -- but you didn't hear me say that.