Clearwire gains subscribers, remains in the red

The WiMax operator says it is close to a deal with Sprint on revenue from wholesale users

Clearwire gained 1.5 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2010 and more than doubled its revenue, but lost US$128 million, the mobile WiMax operator announced on Thursday.

The company ended the year with 4.4 million subscribers, up from 688,000 a year earlier. About 1.1 million of those were customers of Clearwire's own retail service, called Clear, while 3.3 million bought service on the WiMax network through partners such as Sprint Nextel and Comcast. The company collects far less revenue from wholesale than from retail subscribers and has previously disclosed disputes with Sprint over that revenue. In its financial press release Thursday, Clearwire said it believes a settlement of those issues with Sprint is imminent.

The quarterly report came amid indications that Sprint, the majority owner of Clearwire and the most important reseller of its 4G services, may be planning to build a 4G network of its own using LTE (Long Term Evolution). Clearwire has tested LTE itself and hinted it might deploy the technology in addition to WiMax, but recent comments by Sprint's networks chief indicated that Sprint is interested in going it alone.

Clearwire said its network now reaches 119 million potential subscribers around the U.S., nearly meeting the company's target of 120 million by the end of 2010. Clearwire has been struggling to continue the expansion of its network while losing money. After its third-quarter report, the company announced it would lay off 15 percent of its staff, delay the introduction of its first branded smartphone, and cut back marketing and advertising efforts, among other cost-cutting steps. Those moves came even after Clearwire had reported nearly a doubling in subscribers and a 114 percent gain in revenue.

Despite that third-quarter growth, Clearwire lost $139 million in the quarter. The company raised about $1.4 billion through a debt offering in early December but kept its austerity measures in place.

The financial report was the first for Clearwire under its new chairman, John Stanton, who was elected by the company's board of directors in January. He succeeded Craig McCaw, who founded the original Clearwire wireless broadband company.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobilebusiness issuestelecommunicationfinancial resultsClearwiresprint nextel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?