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Bill Morrow, CEO Clearwire

A former chief executive at Vodafone’s Japanese and UK operations, as well as head of the firm’s European portfolio, Bill Morrow now leads US WiMAX carrier Clearwire. Much has been written about the market for WiMAX in a world where cellular standards dominate, and Morrow’s operation now shoulders a burden of proof for the technology and its business model in developed markets.

He is also beholden to a demanding coterie of backers, with Intel, Google and a triad of US cable players matching Sprint’s bet on the fledgling technology. The likes of Google and Intel have long been hunting for a way into the mobile industry while the cable players don’t want to lose out to broadband cellular. Bill Morrow the one-time cellular executive now fronts for the aspirations of a group of players that his former colleagues are wont to view as a competitive threat.

Clearwire had broken the half a million customer barrier by June of this year, but was not offering breakdowns of its customer base by geography. Morrow has reiterated the firm’s aim of expanding mobile WiMAX service to 80 US markets and covering 120 million people by the end of 2010, but he has also acknowledged that the pace of rollout could change depending on the availability of capital.

He has also conceded that Clearwire could go to LTE in the access part of the network if the economies of scale were there to justify it, while still using its core all-IP network.

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