Intel deal hinders Clearwire tech swap – Mobile World Live

Intel deal hinders Clearwire tech swap

09 OCT 2009

WiMAX service provider Clearwire is unlikely to switch technology in the medium term because of an agreement with major WiMAX proponent, and one of its own investors, Intel. Unstrung has revealed that in Clearwire’s latest Form 10-Q, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August, the company stated it has made a commitment to Intel via an ‘Intel Market Development Agreement.’ According to that agreement, Clearwire has “committed to undertake certain marketing efforts with respect to our mobile WiMAX services and are subject to certain restrictions on our ability to commercially deploy alternative wireless broadband or data technology on our networks through November 28, 2011, as long as certain requirements are satisfied.”

In addition, Clearwire notes that that any shift from WiMAX would see the company “incur significant costs to deploy alternative technologies, even if there are alternative technologies available in the future that would be technologically superior or more cost effective.” However, Clearwire’s CEO Bill Morrow said last month that he is keeping an open mind on long-term technology choices, and the SEC filing even warns that the company cannot guarantee that “vendors will continue to develop and produce mobile WiMAX equipment and subscriber devices in the long term, which may require us to deploy alternative technologies.” For the time being of course (and until at least end-2011), Clearwire remains a major WiMAX player, targeting launch in more than 25 US markets by the end of this year. Meanwhile, the company is also moving into Europe.
 

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