Posts Tagged Clearwire
The faster the network, the better your MobileURL’s operate | Sprint could deploy LTE nationwide by year-end 2013 | RealtyGo_blog
Should Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) decide to deploy LTE as part of its Network Vision network modernization project, the company could have a live LTE network this year, with nationwide LTE coverage by year-end 2013, a senior Sprint executive said.
Speaking at a Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference Wednesday, Steve Elfman, Sprint’s president of network operations and wholesale, said that the company will not make a decision regarding LTE deployment until mid-year. He added that if Sprint does decide to deploy LTE it could turn it on quickly and have LTE devices by 2012. Elfman added that the reason the company will not make a decision until mid-year is because Sprint wants to establish and announce a strategy that is still being determined by the company and its partner Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), which runs a mobile WiMAX network.
Elfman also discussed Network Vision, the $4 billion to $5 billion network modernization project that Sprint is undertaking over the next three to five years. Sprint currently runs an EV-DO network in the 1900 MHz PCS band, has a wholesale deal with Clearwire to use WiMAX in the 2.5 GHz band and owns an iDEN network in the 800 MHz band. Sprint has said it will begin phasing out the iDEN network in 2013.
Elfman reiterated that the company plans to enhance its CDMA coverage in the 800 MHz to improve in-building coverage. In addition, he said that Sprint will deploy a CDMA-based push to talk solution from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and will have new PTT devices by the third quarter of this year that will use the enhanced PTT solution.
Regarding Sprint’s relationship with Clearwire, Elfman said that Clearwire has been a good partner to Sprint and that the company is “in the middle of some positive negotiations with them.” The two companies have been locked in a dispute over wholesale revenue sharing, and Clearwire has said that resolving the dispute is key to moving forward on securing new funding. Clearwire expects to announce a decision on new funding sometime in the second quarter.
WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a telecommunications protocol that provides fixed and fully mobile Internet access. The current WiMAX revision provides up to 40 Mbit/s with the IEEE 802.16m update expected to offer up to 1 Gbit/s fixed speeds. The name “WiMAX” was created by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote conformity and interoperability of the standard. The forum describes WiMAX as “a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX
Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) said it expects to raise over $1.1 billion through new debt offerings, a move that offsets its urgent need for new funding as it continues to build its mobile WiMAX network.
Clearwire said the new debt will come in three separate offerings: one offer of $175 million in first-priority senior secured notes due in 2015, $500 million of second-priority secured notes due in 2017, and $500 million of exchangeable notes due in 2040. Analysts have said that the company likely will need billions more to continue building its network over the next few years.
“This solution appears to be the least attractive of the many that we have considered,” wrote TownHall Investment Research in a note explaining its decision to lower its rating on Clearwire from Buy to Avoid. “With a maximum of less than $2 billion anticipated in this raise, the company remains well short of its longer term funding needs and will likely have to further curtail some of its 2011 build-out plans. Additionally, we believe this approach represents a funding of last resort after the company has been unable to piece together a non-public financing that might have included T-Mobile as a new partner and distributor. With this funding, the company may have done little about investor long-term funding concerns, other than to kick the can down the road.”
The company announced a series of measures last month to conserve cash as it searched for new funding options. Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow said at the time that the company was considering a range of funding options, including new equity funding from existing shareholders as well as non-strategic investors; debt-based financing; or selling spectrum that the company does not need.
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which holds a 54 percent stake in Clearwire, has said it is in negotiations with Clearwire over funding, but has given no indication that more equity financing will be forthcoming. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse stopped short in November of promising more funding, though he did say that Sprint has “historically injected more cash into the company.”
In other Clearwire news, the company said Sprint nominated William Blessing, Mufit Cinali and Hossein Eslambolchi for the three open seats on Clearwire’s board. Blessing is a consultant to Burns & McDonnell where he advises clients on smart grid and telecommunications strategy; Cinali is a managing director with Springwell Capital Partners; and Eslambolchi is a technical advisor to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and the University of California School of Engineering.
In late September, Hesse, Steve Elfman, Sprint’s president of network operations and wholesale, and Keith Cowan, Sprints president of strategy and corporate initiatives, resigned from the board. Clearwire said the changes were made out of an “abundance of caution to address questions raised by Clearwire regarding new developments in antitrust law.”
Clearwire also launched a new modem, the “Clear Modem with WiFi,” that supports both WiFi and the company’s WiMAX service. The modem will retail for $120.
Cisco also in the news with their new Modems and At&t See an article here: http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/37788
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