WiMAX service provider Clearwire is keeping an open mind on its future choice of mobile technology, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report. In an interview with the publication, Clearwire’s chief executive, Bill Morrow, said that if LTE becomes the dominant next-generation mobile technology (rather than WiMAX), the company can easily switch technologies via a software upgrade. “We’re the only carrier that can do this,” he said. “We’ll do what’s right for the business. Whether it’s LTE, WiMAX, future technology X, it doesn’t matter to me.” Morrow did note, however, that Clearwire is committed to WiMAX for now, commenting that “WiMAX is here today, and LTE is not.”
Morrow’s comments come as the company this week launches a WiMAX network covering more than 20 square miles in Silicon Valley in an effort to encourage software developers in the region to create new applications for the technology. The ‘Innovation Network’ will be provided free to a limited number of qualified developers for one year. The company will bring the WiMAX service to campuses of two of its financial backers, Google and Intel, whilst Cisco will provide the infrastructure equipment. Developers will be given a head start on access to WiMAX network technology ahead of commercial service launching in the Bay Area in 2010. Clearwire claims that developers can expect to see peak download speeds of up to 10 Mb/s, with average download speeds of 3 to 6 Mb/s. It argues that this compares with some 3G wireless networks typically delivering download speeds of between 600 kb/s – 1.4 Mb/s.