Intel, Google, Cable Co's Give US WiMax A New Lease On Life (In The Form Of $3.2 Billion)
from the let's-try-this-again dept
A bunch of the worst kept secrets in the wireless broadband world have finally come together. No one ever really believed that Sprint and Clearwire would fully break off their WiMax agreement. It simply made too much sense for them to get back together. At the same time, everyone also knew that Comcast and Time Warner were talking to Sprint to help fund WiMax in order to get a wireless pipe with which to compete with the telcos. And… oh yeah, given how much money Intel had pumped into WiMax to make everyone think it just had to be the next generation wireless system, there was no way it was going to let Sprint and Clearwire’s WiMax plans collapse. Finally, toss in the fact that Google was known to be interested in Sprint’s WiMax plans, and it’s not hard to figure out what is actually happening…
Yes, indeed, Intel, Google, Comcast and Time Warner are teaming up to pump $3.2 billion into a joint venture that would merge Sprint and Clearwire’s WiMax operations under the Clearwire brand name. This is certainly no surprise given all the earlier stories, but given how many problems have surrounded WiMax as well as earlier attempts for the cable companies to offer wireless services, don’t expect this new venture to go smoothly right from the beginning. That doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do. Most of the companies involved didn’t really have much of a choice but to do this. Of course, in all this mess, Sprint and Clearwire squandered a portion of the lead they held over AT&T and Verizon. While it will still take a while for AT&T and Verizon to get LTE plans into motion, all this futzing by Sprint and Clearwire took away some of the huge lead it should have had.