While the company is nibbling at its $2.8 billion hoard of cash, it's continuing on its aggressive deployment of the mobile wide area technology. Clearwire said it plans to roll out the service this summer in Las Vegas and Chicago, with Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth to follow later in the year. The company, which is 51% owned by Sprint Nextel, already offers its WiMax service in Baltimore and Portland, Ore.
"Leveraging our robust pipeline of more than 19,000 cell sites under various stages of design and development, we are planning to significantly extend our wireless 4G network, enabling us to potentially cover as many as 120 million people with true broadband mobility across 80 cities by the end of 2010," William Morrow, the company's CEO, said in a statement.
In recent management changes, Morrow took over the helm of Clearwire. Former chief operating officer Perry Satterlee has left the company, Clearwire reported.
Clearwire's WiMax is in a race with Long Term Evolution, the other so-called 4G infrastructure, which is being rolling out aggressively by Verizon Wireless. The Verizon unit, which is 45% owned by Vodafone Group, has said it plans to begin initial LTE rollouts later this year, with more widespread national deployment scheduled to take place in 2010.
In another development Wednesday, Clearwire announced that it has formed an alliance with Cisco to expand the mobile WiMax service in the United States. Cisco will provide infrastructure equipment as well as WiMax user devices for the home and business market.
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