Wireless Communications pioneer Craig McCaw, and a team of wireless communications veterans, are leading a new venture aimed at improving the consumer experience and overall availability of consumer broadband voice and data services. The announcement of the new venture came at the Wireless Communications Association convention held in Washington D.C. where McCaw delivered a keynote speech this morning.
"We come into this opportunity with our eyes open to the challenges and difficulties associated with competing against giants in the communications arena," said Clearwire Chairman and CEO Craig McCaw. "Yet, we have worked diligently to combine a team of people that have a track record for providing exceptional customer experiences in wireless that we believe can make a difference with a unique and powerful technology. Wireless technology can open the gate that has restricted widespread access to broadband services and provide a very simple and satisfying consumer experience."
The launch of Clearwire is a culmination of more than two years of activity that has included the acquisition of several companies and the accumulation of licensed spectrum in markets throughout the United States.
"Success in delivering services that broadband consumers desire will require both a global reach to achieve economies of scale, and a level of control over the technology that powers the service," continued McCaw. "Clearwire has both. We expect the Clearwire service will become a competitive option to current cable and DSL solutions and, in some rural instances, may be the only meaningful viable broadband access choice a customer may have."
Clearwire recently completed an acquisition of NextNet, the developer of the industry's most widely deployed non-line-of sight (NLOS) plug-and-play broadband wireless access system. NextNet technology has been commercially deployed for over two years, and is installed in 20 markets around the world, including Mexico, Canada, the U.S., Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Clearwire will use this technology platform modified with its own proprietary technology to power its IP-based wireless network.
"We believe in the NLOS, plug-and-play technology that NextNet has developed and, in combination with our own proprietary technology, view it as an important part of our plans," commented Clearwire Chief Technology Officer Rob Mechaley. "This technology is being used today, and is delivering on the promise of WIMAX services. We have a second generation chipset in the market now, with a third generation planned for next year. We intend to be very involved in the future evolution of the technology as we look to expand the services we can provide."
Clearwire will be actively led by Craig McCaw who will serve as the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. McCaw has seeded the company with a number of experienced wireless technologists and business executives who have successfully commercialized wireless technology into successful businesses in the past.
Clearwire is now ready to launch commercial services and will begin offering service in Jacksonville, Florida this summer. The "plug and play technology" will require no "truck rolls" or software downloads, and can typically enable a customer to be on-line in 15 minutes or less. Clearwire expects to launch service in other of number of other markets both in the US and internationally in the upcoming year.