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Clearwire only has eyes for mobile WiMAX

Clearwire has dramatically scaled down its marketing efforts for its fixed and nomadic services, which is based on ‘pre-WiMAX’ equipment from Motorola, as it focuses on mobile WiMAX rollout.

“We focused our resources on the strategic priorities of preparing our upcoming mobile WiMAX markets for launch as well as successfully completing a proof of concept network overlay deploying mobile WiMAX technology in one of our existing markets during [3Q 2008],” says Ben Wolff, Clearwire CEO, on the announcement of the company’s financial results for the quarter.

Early this month, the FCC approved the New Clearwire joint venture, in which the old Clearwire will have a 27 percent stake. This will put the US broadband operator on a much more solid financial footing to achieve its nationwide WiMAX plans: Intel, Google and some US cable operators have pledged a total of $3.2bn in the new Clearwire JV.

Clearwire, as a standalone company, has found the financial going tough in setting up its broadband business, which is reflected in its 3Q 2008 results, During the quarter, although Clearwire reported $60.8m in revenue (which is up from $41.3m during 3Q 2007), it still posted a net loss of $166.6m (a $328.6m net loss for the same period in 2007).

Year-on-tear revenue growth has been driven by modest subscriber growth, which reached 469,000 at the end 3Q 2008 compared to 348,000 at the end of the 3Q 2007. However, because Clearwire has continued to moderate new subscriber growth by significantly reducing sales and marketing efforts for its existing service portfolio, there were only 8,300 net new subscribers during the three months ended 30 September 2008.

Clearwire reports that 3,200 cell sites were leased and being prepared for mobile WiMAX deployment as of the end of September 2008, which is more than twice the number available at the same time in the previous year.

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