Sprint (S) and Clearwire (CLWR) made major announcements this past week, unveiling additional markets for 2010, including St. Louis, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Clearwire builds out the network while Sprint rents spectrum space on the network and offer services very similar to Clearwire.
Sprint has brand recognition, helping WiMAX become more main stream. It also has a device that could make that possible, the first 4G phone for use in the U.S. Clearwire also made news as T-Mobile leaked that they're seeking possible partnerships to increase their spectrum presence.
In international deployment, Tranzeo got its equipment approved for use in Canada, expanding products for that burgeoning WiMAX market. St. Martin Island will soon get WiMAX after Motorola announced a deal with CaribServe. Alvarion (ALVR) helped connect cities in Brazil, providing equipment for its networks. Tatung Infocomm expanded its coverage in Taiwan with the help of NEC's equipment. Saudi operator Mobily completed coverage of Riyadh. Deployments internationally continue to outpace U.S. because the wired infrastructure doesn't exist in most of these countries.
The U.S. will eventually have WiMAX in most metro areas, covering 120 million by the end of 2010. It's really not being deployed for those who need it. The NTIA Broadband Initiative granted more money to fibre optic build out instead of providing money for faster installation and less install fees. WiMAX needs to get to areas where the wired cannot go, like Indian reservations and other remote areas of the U.S.
Regional operators become the ones tasked with providing WiMAX to these areas, but the capital required to set up the networks isn't being provided. The competition for Clearwire and Sprint would be minimal and competition would help reduce costs to the end users, but it would have to be on a different frequency on the spectrum but if it's fast and more reasonably priced, maybe Clearwire or Sprint will change their pricing plans in the regional markets.
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Tweet of the Week: emiglio: Hoping HTC announces the Supersonic on sprint this week. 4G, WiMax, Android 2.1 and Snapdragon would make for a pretty beastly handheld.
Stat of the Week: 120 million: Population Clearwire Hopes to Cover by the end of 2010
Photo Courtesy of pim van den heuve via Flickr