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BusinessWeek compares the ostensible 2007 IPOs of Clearwire and NextWave: The former has $1.2b in cash on hand, blue-chip investors, and a huge pile of spectrum; the latter, about $200m in cash, and a much more uneven portfolio of frequencies. Where Clearwire said in their SEC filing yesterday that they won’t currently deploy in any market where they don’t have 30 MHz (6 channels of 5 MHz each), NextWave has from 10 MHz to 40 MHz in their markets. Sprint claims 80 to 85 MHz per market. All three firms plan mobile WiMax launches in 2007.
A Sprint VP said that 60 MHz is minimum for broadband. It’s unclear whether Clearwire (and this BusinessWeek article) are counting the same way. Clearwire may mean 5 MHz for each of uplink and downlink directions for a total of 60 MHz, rather than 30 MHz, in the markets they intend to launch in.
BusinessWeek sees NextWave as more likely an acquisition that would place its portfolio and technology within a larger firm’s offering.
(Note that this is NextWave Wireless, a spinoff of the cell carrier that wound up making money by selling spectrum they never deployed on after protracted litigation with the FCC that wound up in the land’s ultimate court; the Supreme Court found in NextWave’s favor. NextNet, which is often confused with NextWave, was a Clearwire subsidiary that made proprietary wireless equipment, which is what Clearwire currently uses for its network. Clearwire sold NextNet to Motorola.)
Posted by Glennf at December 20, 2006 12:35 PM