US WiMAX service provider Clearwire is prepping deployment of the technology in Spain after striking deals with network suppliers Alvarion and ZTE. Arguably WiMAX’s biggest proponent, Clearwire yesterday announced that Clearwire International – a holding entity of Clearwire Corporation – will launch commercial services in two Spanish cities next year (using 3.5GHz spectrum) under its familiar ‘Clear’ brand. Alvarion will supply kit for launch in Malaga and ZTE will supply equipment for Seville.
Although just a small step into Spain, the move does at least broaden the company’s global mobile WiMAX reach. By the end of this year, Clearwire expects to have launched WiMAX services in more than 25 US markets covering over 30 million people. The US deployments operate in the 2.5GHz spectrum band. Certainly the Spanish launch faces very strong competition from HSPA mobile operators with a firmly established customer base of millions. Unstrung notes that the new WiMAX deployment plans will not be Clearwire’s first in Europe as it already offers a fixed wireless broadband service in Seville. However, it is its first investment in mobile WiMAX in the country. According to Unstrung the company has 3.5GHz licenses in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Romania and also through an affiliate in Denmark, meaning further European expansion is likely.