The head of US WiMAX service provider Clearwire has called for greater integration between competing next-generation mobile standards WiMAX and LTE. Addressing a keynote session at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas yesterday, Bill Morrow said the industry should focus on the similarities between the two technologies (such as their use of an OFDMA air interface) rather than the differences in order to bring them together. “With this overlap, shouldn’t we all be thinking how can we bring it together?” Reuters cites Morrow as stating. Morrow added that he had talked with some of the world’s top telecom and technology companies about how this could be achieved, such as China Mobile, Vodafone and Clearwire investor Intel.

Such a notion was first raised over two years ago at the 2008 GSMA Mobile World Congress, when Vodafone’s then-CEO Arun Sarin encouraged a merger of WiMAX and LTE technologies. Morrow’s current interest in this is natural; Clearwire is one of the biggest proponents of WiMAX in the world, aiming to eventually cover a population of 270 million in the US. However, the vast majority of mobile operators worldwide are expected to use LTE as their future technology, including US tier one carriers AT&T and Verizon. Clearwire has even itself been linked to a future move to LTE, and Morrow yesterday noted that his network could be made to support both WiMAX and LTE. “We’re not going to fight a war,” he said. “We’re going to provide our customers just what they want. Our spectrum is designed and built so we can add on LTE should we need to.”