Shoot Yourself In The Foot Much, Clearwire? - InformationWeek

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3/25/2010
12:45 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Shoot Yourself In The Foot Much, Clearwire?

Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow didn't do the company any favors in a recent discussion with the press. He believes that the world should agree on one next-generation wireless networking technology. In theory, that's a great idea. Rather than say, "It should be WiMax," he said, "We can switch to LTE if we have to."

Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow didn't do the company any favors in a recent discussion with the press. He believes that the world should agree on one next-generation wireless networking technology. In theory, that's a great idea. Rather than say, "It should be WiMax," he said, "We can switch to LTE if we have to."Really, I can't imagine a bigger mistake that a CEO can make when speaking to reporters than what Morrow said this week. I fully agree with his premise: there shouldn't be competing wireless networking technologies. It would be better for everyone to agree on one technology, and move forward at full steam supporting that technology.

Clearwire and business partner Sprint are smack in the middle of deploying a WiMax network across the United States. In addition to announcing new markets this week, Sprint trotted out its first WiMax-equipped smartphone this week, the HTC EVO 4G. This is all great, but Clearwire just shot itself -- and WiMax -- in the foot.

WiMax and Long Term Evolution (the technology that pretty much every other wireless network operator has selected) share many of the same technical characteristics. Both use MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-ou) antenna arrays, for example.

On that subject, Morrow noted, "With this overlap, shouldn't we all be thinking how can we bring it together? We're not going to fight a war. 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."

Wait a minute. Did Morrow really just admit that Clear would give up on WiMax? Does Sprint know about this? What about HTC, maker of the just-announced EVO 4G WiMax smartphone? What about Clear's other equipment vendors?

Amazingly, I haven't see the Clear and Sprint spin machines offer and damage control on this.

[Via Reuters]

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