Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Clearwire Introduces Its First High-Speed Wireless PC Card

The Clearwire pc card Brings True Broadband Experience to People on the Go

KIRKLAND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) announced today the availability of the first Clearwire pc card through all of its distribution channels in its markets across the United States. Based on Clearwires guiding principles of simplicity, reliability, high speed and affordability the Clearwire pc card delivers a True Broadband experience unlike any other pc card available in the market place today.

Building on the success of our residential broadband services, the Clearwire pc card offers consumers, business and enterprise customers the ability to experience all that the Internet has to offer while they are on the go anywhere within our coverage area, said Ben Wolff, Clearwire chief executive officer. As our coverage area continues to expand, the Clearwire pc card is ideal for the majority of the population that spends most of their time in their local communities. Utilizing Motorolas pre-WiMAX OFDM technology coupled with more total spectrum devoted solely to data services in the markets in which we operate than any other carrier in the US enables the Clearwire pc card to deliver a unique user experience.

The Clearwire pc card expands the companys product portfolio to provide a personal broadband experience with greater portability through a smaller device, requiring only the power provided by the customers laptop or notebook computer. Utilizing Clearwires own broadband wireless network, the Clearwire pc card is designed to provide consumers a consistent user experience of up to 1.5 Mbps resulting in a smooth, seamless, robust Internet experience.

The Clearwire pc card is currently available in all Clearwire markets nationwide through Clearwire retail locations, as well with the companys authorized local retailers and national partners, Best Buy and Circuit City. Customers can also purchase the Clearwire pc card online at or by calling 1-888-CLEARWIRE. Service plans for the Clearwire pc card start at $59.99 a month with a pc card lease fee of $6.99 a month.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WiMax Global Push, US Blip!

The WiMax Global push is being tainted by the departure of the Sprint CEO in the US, however there is a lot of weight behind making WiMax work, there are big companies supporting WiMax worldwide. Nokia has agreed to build base stations and has a stake in offering handsets as well. Samsung has also joined the alliance of companies pushing the 4G technology.

Trading around $20, Clearwire has not been a big stock market success. Its shares got a nice lift to $35 when it announced its WiMax alliance with Sprint. But, the shares are off at $21. Clearwire's current debt load is modest at $655 million, but, if it has to go it alone, that will rise. The company's market cap is $3.4 billion.

Sprint's market cap is $51 billion. Its revenue run rate is about $10.5 billion a quarter. Operating income in the June quarter was $316 million. The company's debt load, at $21.7 billion, is fairly heavy.

Sprint and Clearwire are facing the challenge of AT&T (T) buying licenses from Aloha in the 700 MHz frequency covering 196 million people in 281 markets, including 72 of the top 100 metropolitan areas and all of the top 10 markets. The FCC is going to auction off more 700 MHz.spectrum in January. Access to this will provide wireless operators the ability to offer better wireless broadband which is tough competition for WiMax.

Kevin Martin and the FCC have allowed for part of the 700 band to be reserved for open access - which would allow the bandwidth to be used on any device, in any way.

Google has announced that they will be throwing in their bid at the FCC’s $4.6 billion reserve price, but only if the FCC agrees to Google’s expanded demands for open access. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, says that if the FCC will agree to open applications, open devices, open services, and open networks (conditions outlined in Google’s previous proposal), then Google will play ball.

The auction could net Google a prime piece of spectrum real estate from which to launch their very own wireless broadband network.

Will Google invest in Clearwire?

Sprint and Clearwire can face the competition separately and probably take a severe beating. Or, they can put together one company, Perhaps Intel, Nokia, and Samsung would make strategic investment to help finance building the US WiMax network. Having a single company building instead of two would save hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

IPTV grows fivefold in two years

The DSL Forum released IPTV penetration statistics this week that chart a fivefold increase in subscribers from 2005 to mid-2007. As of June 30, the worldwide subscriber base for IPTV services reached 8.2 million, up from nearly 1.5 million on the same date in 2005.

Europe accounts for more than 60 percent of subscriber base, with nearly 5 million households hooked up to IPTV, half of them in France. The Asia Pacific region is next, with nearly 2.2 million. Hong Kong is the anchor there, with 938,000 subscribers. The Americas combined have just over 1 million IPTV subscribers.

The research was carried out by Point-Topic, a research firm in London. Point-Topic senior analyst John Bosnell said content and "clear bundle pricing" attract subscribers to IPTV. It also helps that the technology has cleared the tipping point.

DoCoMo, Acca grab 5 Net firms in WiMAX bid-Nikkei

TOKYO, NTT DoCoMo Inc (9437.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Japan's biggest mobile operator, and ADSL provider Acca Networks Co (3764.Q: Quote, Profile, Research) have signed up five Internet service providers to their WiMAX joint venture in a bid to launch ultra high-speed wireless Internet access, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

The firms include Nifty Corp (3828.T: Quote, Profile, Research), NEC Biglobe Ltd., So-net Entertainment Corp (3789.T: Quote, Profile, Research), FreeBit Co (3843.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and Asahi Net Inc (3834.T: Quote, Profile, Research), who will take stakes in the venture if DoCoMo and Acca win a WiMAX licence, the business daily said.

WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, allows high-speed and cheap Internet access and file downloads from laptops, phones or other mobile devices over greater distances than previous technologies.

Japan's telecommunications regulator plans to allocate 2.5 GHz band frequencies to two companies.

The DoCoMo-Acca group faces competition from three other bidders: personal handyphone system service provider Willcom Inc.; a group led by Japan's No. 2 mobile carrier KDDI Corp (9433.T: Quote, Profile, Research); and an alliance between No. 3 operator Softbank Corp (9984.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and eAccess Ltd (9427.T: Quote, Profile, Research) Ltd.

AT&T To Buy Wireless Spectrum From Aloha Partners For $2.5 Billion

AT&T Inc.'s (T) board approved the purchase of wireless spectrum licenses from Delware limited partnership Aloha Partners L.P. for about $2.5 billion in cash.

The telecommunications holding company said the spectrum licenses cover 196 million people in the 700 MHz frequency band.

The company said the deal enhances its spectrum position by adding 12 MHz of spectrum covering 196 million people in 281 markets. The spectrum covers many major metropolitan areas, including 72 of the top 100 and all of the top 10 markets in the U.S.

AT&T expects to close the deal within six to nine months.