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6/12/2008
04:09 PM
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Clearwire Sees $17.5 Billion In WiMax Revenue By 2017

The WiMax company expects to have 30 million subscribers in the next nine years.

Clearwire will have 30 million subscribers and will generate $17.5 billion in revenue by 2017, the company told investors Thursday.

The revenue will come from the WiMax services the company will offer, including a suite of both fixed and mobile voice and data services for the consumer and enterprise market.

In a Webcast to investors, the company said it expects to have 30.8 million subscribers and should offer coverage to as many as 220 million people within the next nine years. It also projects an average per-user revenue of $60 to $65.

Clearwire previously said it plans to roll out WiMax before the end of the year, and during the presentation, the WiMax company said it expects to cover 60 million to 80 million people by the end of 2009.

The next generation of wireless Internet access will be very competitive. Companies like Sprint, Google, Comcast, and others have backed WiMax, while the major wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless have chosen Long Term Evolution.

Clearwire's major advantage is that WiMax is ready to go and LTE is still years away from being rolled out, the company told investors.

The chances for WiMax to succeed seemed slim last year after Sprint and Clearwire ended their partnership, but earlier this year Sprint, Time Warner Cable, Intel, and others came together to form a new company that would deploy a high-speed wireless network using WiMax.

The deal is expected to close at the end of 2008, and executives said the WiMax company would operate independently. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said the new company is "not a joint venture -- it will be an independent company with an experienced, independent management team, and with strategic investors that have a tremendous incentive to see the new Clearwire succeed."

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