Google and Intel on WiMax, LTE

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Includes: CHTR, CMCSA, GOOG, INTC, S, T, VZ
by: Judy Weil

Despite large writedowns, major investors in the Sprint/Clearwire WiMax venture like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are sticking with WiMax for now.

From Intel’s Q408 conference call: (NASDAQ:INTC)

Gains/losses on equity investments and interest and other income was a net loss of $1.1 billion, higher than our outlook net loss of $50 million, primarily due to a $1 billion reduction in the carrying value of the company's investment in Clearwire.

Google’s Q408 conference call: (GOOG)

We took significant write-downs with AOL (TWC) and Clearwire (CLWR), as write-downs are mandated by the way the accounting works. Both deals made sense to us then and make sense to us now, and continue to be a strategic part of our overall business philosophy.

Q: You're not on either of the major platforms. So, you're not really on AT&T (NYSE:T) and you're not on Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Verizon's the largest carrier. That means your partners are really T-Mobile and Sprint (NYSE:S). Is that not enough to really to make Android viable?

A: We think the Android numbers will start to speak for themselves, particular this year, now that we've got some additional partners signed up to get to the next generation from a hardware perspective on the platform. So we are very optimistic about Android.

From PC World:

Both Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility plan to use frequencies that will be freed by the transition to deliver mobile data services on LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks. AT&T, which doesn't plan to roll out LTE until 2011, had granted its backing to a limited extension before rival Verizon did. Verizon plans to begin commercial LTE deployment in 2009, though its network won't go nationwide by the end of this year.

Google’s Q408 Q&A session:

Q: Will the company be changing its wireless search strategy now that Verizon has decided to move its business to Microsoft?

A: I don't think that our wireless or mobile strategy really is going to change. I think we have a pretty good balance of both searches that come by the partner channel, as well as searches that come directly. So I'm certainly pretty confident that we've got lots and lots of organic search opportunities that will allow us to continue to move forward aggressively.

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