Clearwire

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Clearwire Corporation
Former typePublic
Traded asNASDAQCLWR
IndustryWireless communications
FateAcquired by Sprint Nextel, now Sprint Corporation
FoundedArlington, Texas, United States (1998 (1998))
DefunctSeptember 2013 (2013-09)
HeadquartersBellevue, Washington, United States
Area served
Key people
  • Erik Prusch (President/CEO)
  • Hope Cochran (CFO)
  • Broady Hodder (SVP General Counsel)
  • Scott Hopper (SVP Strategy)
  • Dr. John Saw (CTO)
  • John W. Stanton (Executive Chairman)
Operating incomeDecrease (US$2,391,237,000) (2011)
Net incomeDecrease (US$357,668,000) (2011)
Total assetsDecrease US$8,842,652,000 (2011)
Total equityDecrease US$3,646,038,000 (2011)
Employees932 (2013)
ParentSprint Corporation
Subsidiaries
  • Clearwire Belgium sprl
  • Clearwire España S.A.
  • Clearwire Communications LLC
Websiteclearwire.com clear.com
References: [1][2][3][4][5]
 
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Clearwire Corporation
Former typePublic
Traded asNASDAQCLWR
IndustryWireless communications
FateAcquired by Sprint Nextel, now Sprint Corporation
FoundedArlington, Texas, United States (1998 (1998))
DefunctSeptember 2013 (2013-09)
HeadquartersBellevue, Washington, United States
Area served
Key people
  • Erik Prusch (President/CEO)
  • Hope Cochran (CFO)
  • Broady Hodder (SVP General Counsel)
  • Scott Hopper (SVP Strategy)
  • Dr. John Saw (CTO)
  • John W. Stanton (Executive Chairman)
Operating incomeDecrease (US$2,391,237,000) (2011)
Net incomeDecrease (US$357,668,000) (2011)
Total assetsDecrease US$8,842,652,000 (2011)
Total equityDecrease US$3,646,038,000 (2011)
Employees932 (2013)
ParentSprint Corporation
Subsidiaries
  • Clearwire Belgium sprl
  • Clearwire España S.A.
  • Clearwire Communications LLC
Websiteclearwire.com clear.com
References: [1][2][3][4][5]

Clearwire Corporation (stylized as clearw˙re) was a telecommunications operator that provided mobile and fixed wireless broadband communications services to retail and wholesale customers in the United States, Belgium and Spain. Clearwire traces its roots to 1998, when Sierra Technologies, Inc., spun off certain assets to form a new company, Clearwire Technologies Inc.[6] In October 2003, Craig McCaw purchased Clearwire Technologies, Inc. parent company Clearwire Holdings and moved the company headquarters to Kirkland, Washington. In 2012, Clearwire moved the company headquarters to Bellevue, Washington.

A large percentage of Clearwire shares were previously owned by a number of large companies including Sprint Nextel Corporation (now Sprint Corporation), Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable Inc., Bright House Networks, LLC, Google Inc. and Intel Corporation. Sprint Nextel was Clearwire's largest single shareholder, owning a 50.8% combined stake and control of the company.[7] On July 9, 2013, Sprint Nextel completed acquiring the remaining shares it didn't already own, becoming sole owner of Clearwire Corporation. The day after, on July 10, 2013, Sprint Nextel and SoftBank Corp. announced the completion of their merger, where Softbank invested $21.6 billion in Sprint.[8]

Clearwire provides services to 88 markets in the United States covering 134 million potential subscribers. Sprint Corporation owns rights to radio frequency spectrum in the 2.5 GHz range which provides service primarily using the 4G 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard. Clearwire also provides service to customers in 17 U.S. cities using the Motorola Expedience 802.16d radio interface that the company refers to as "Pre-4G".[1]

Clearwire was ranked as the fifth largest wireless provider in the U.S., prior to being acquired, with roughly 11 million subscribers that use the WiMAX network as of January 2012.

History[edit]

Clearwire traces its roots to 1998, when Sierra Technologies, Inc. spun off certain assets to form a new company, Clearwire, Inc., based in Arlington, Texas. Clearwire Technologies was formed by a number of investors including Sierra CEO Jim Gero and Edward "Rusty" Rose, a former co-managing partner of the Texas Rangers. Clearwire Technologies raised about US$100 million from Goldman Sachs, in conjunction with another client who held licenses for spectrum allocated to various educational institutions; the former Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) band now known as EBS or Educational Broadband Service.[9]

After Goldman provided the funds—which were supposed to be used to roll out the system in key markets across the U.S.—they used a provision of the agreement to take control of the company; hiring a new CEO, Leo J. Cyr, who ousted the entire management team, including Clearwire CEO Brian Nerney, while diluting the strength of the founders still on the Board of Directors.

A holding company controlled by Craig McCaw, Flux LLC, acquired Clearwire Inc's then parent company, Clearwire Holdings, in March 2004. After assuming control, McCaw installed executives from McCaw Cellular in the key leadership positions at Clearwire Corp.[9] On June 3, 2004, McCaw purchased Clearwire Inc. for an undisclosed amount and used its name and resources, as well as technology developed by another McCaw-owned company, NextNet Wireless Inc., to launch his latest effort.[10] On October 26, 2004, Intel Corp. teamed up with McCaw to develop and deploy a technology for portable wireless Internet access. The partnership included an investment by Clearwire Corp.[11] On March 9, 2005, Bell Canada invested $100 million U.S. in Seattle-based Clearwire Corp.[citation needed]

Clearwire grew from 1,000 customers in September 2004 to more than 443,000 customers by May 2008.[12] Clearwire claimed in September 2006 that 20% of its markets had more than 10% penetration of households covered.[citation needed]

Clearwire took a $900 million infusion of capital from Intel and Motorola in July 2006, shortly after pulling its initial public offering.[13] Clearwire's equipment manufacturer Nextnet Wireless was sold to Motorola as part of the exchange.[14] This investment by these two industry giants had been reported as an attempt to accelerate the development and deployment of WiMAX networks worldwide.

An unspecified source claims that AT&T sold Clearwire a slice of 2.5 GHz spectrum for about $300 million. The spectrum covers markets in the southeast of the U.S. and was formerly owned by BellSouth. The spectrum solidifies Clearwire's position as the second largest holder of 2.5 GHz spectrum after Sprint Nextel. AT&T had to sell the spectrum as a condition of its merger with BellSouth.[citation needed]

Clearwire and Sprint Nextel announced a partnership in July 2007 to accelerate deployment of WiMAX technology across the US.[15] The deal was to include a swap of spectrum and markets between the two companies, as well as providing roaming capabilities for customers traveling between the companies' networks. The partnership was terminated at the end of 2007.[16] In 2008, Sprint's new CEO Dan Hesse started serious discussions about forming a joint venture between the two companies in the hopes of bringing in outside funding from Google, Intel, and Best Buy.[17] On March 26, 2008 an anonymous source stated that Sprint and Clearwire may get as much as $1 billion from Comcast and $500 million from Time Warner Cable in financial backing.[18]

Clearwire filed for its initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2006. The company's underwriters included Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase. Trading began March 8, 2007 under the ticker symbol "CLWR" on the Nasdaq. Clearwire offered 24 million shares at $25 a share, and raised approximately US$600 million.[19] Before the Sprint merger, Craig McCaw was the largest shareholder of the company with a majority of the shares.[20]

On May 7, 2008, Clearwire and Sprint Nextel's wireless broadband unit Xohm announced their intent to merge, combining Sprint's 4G WiMAX network (Xohm) with Clearwire's existing pre-WiMAX broadband network. Sprint owns 54% of the firm,[21] with ex-Clearwire shareholders owning 27% — a consortium of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Intel, Google, and Bright House Networks invested $3.2 billion and own the balance.[22] Clearwire and the cable companies will buy 3G mobile broadband from Sprint as MVNOs.[citation needed] Clearwire/Sprint Nextel officially launched Portland, Oregon as the first market using the new service. Today,[when?] Clearwire's 4G service is branded CLEAR,[23] except in those markets where the Clearwire name has already been established and where CLEAR service is not available.[24] CLEAR 4G is available in 35 of the top 40 MSAs in the country covering 130 million people.

On March 9, 2009 Clearwire named Bill Morrow as CEO, succeeding Benjamin Wolff, who became Co-Chairman with Craig McCaw. Morrow, 49, stepped down as CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Morrow had previously held a number of senior positions at Vodafone.[25]

In April 2009, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Clearwire. The suit was dismissed in April 2009 but was appealed by the complainant. The suit claimed that the company's actual Internet connection speeds were slower than advertised and was sometimes unavailable.[26][27]

On December 31, 2010, McCaw resigned as Chairman of Clearwire and was replaced by John W. Stanton.[28][29] On March 10, 2011, Bill Morrow resigned as CEO and was replaced by Interim CEO John W. Stanton.[30] On August 10, 2011, Clearwire promoted COO Erik Prusch to President and CEO; named John Stanton Executive Chairman.[31]

Clearwire stated that it may not honor a $237 million debt covenant due on December 1, 2011 in order to conserve cash.[32] However, on December 2, 2011, the company announced that not only had it made that payment, but it had made a new four-year deal with Sprint to receive funding for network buildout and investments valued at $1.6 billion.

Complete acquisition by Sprint Nextel[edit]

On October 14, 2012, it was announced that Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank would purchase 70% of Sprint Nextel Corporation for $20.1 billion.[7] This initially led to speculation that Sprint would buyout Clearwire, but "two well placed sources" within Sprint said that such a maneuver would not occur.[33]

Sprint, however, announced on October 18, 2012, that it acquired a majority interest in Clearwire by buying a stake from Clearwire's founder, which gave Sprint a 50.8% ownership and control of Clearwire.[34] On December 17, 2012, Sprint announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining stake in Clearwire that it did not then own for $2.97 per share, which equaled $2.2 billion.[35]

Over a period of approximately six months, a bidding war with DISH Network for Clearwire occurred, ultimately resulting in Sprint increasing its offer price for Clearwire to $5 per share.[36] On July 8, 2013, Clearwire announced that its stockholders approved the merger with Sprint.[37] Relatedly, Sprint's stockholders approved the merger with SoftBank, which closed on July 10, 2013.[38] Subsequently, it planned to lay off about 75% of its employees. [2]

Networks[edit]

Expedience OFDM - Pre-4G[edit]

In 17 markets in the United States and certain markets in Belgium, Clearwire provides a service it refers to as "Pre-4G" using a Point-to-Multipoint system from Motorola called "Expedience", part of the MOTOwi4 family of products.[39] The service is considered true Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS).

The service is not unique to Clearwire. Several companies throughout the world use this same product line from Motorola, including Inukshuk Wireless Partnership of Canada, Beamspeed and Commspeed of Arizona, AccessTEL of Bangladesh, and Unitel of Guatemala.

WiMAX 802.16e - 4G[edit]

Branded CLEAR, the company, on January 6, 2009, unveiled Portland, Oregon as its first 4G WiMAX wireless broadband market, enabling consumers and businesses to access the Internet, wirelessly, at broadband speeds.[40]

Since the Portland launch, the company has expanded its 4G network to 87 additional markets.[41]

Clearwire's plans for WiMAX3.0 may be in jeopardy now that Sprint has acquired the company.

Retail products and services[edit]

4G Mobile and fixed wireless[edit]

Logo used in the United States by Clearwire to market 4G wireless Internet services under the CLEAR brand

In the United States, Clearwire offers 4G fixed and mobile Internet access under the CLEAR brand in 88 cities. Clearwire claims an average download speed of 3 to 6 Mbit/s with bursts over 10 Mbit/s.[42]

In January 2011, Clearwire started offering 4G WiMax service in Spain under the Instanet brand, discontinuing services based on Motorola Expedience technology.

Clearwire provides service in Spain in the 3.4 - 3.6 GHz frequency range.[43]

Logo used in Spain by Clearwire España, S.A. to market 4G wireless Internet services under the Instanet brand

Clearwire offers 4G WiMax service in Belgium under the Clearwire brand.

Logo used in Belgium by Clearwire Belgium sprl to market 4G wireless Internet services under the Clearwire brand

Expedience fixed wireless[edit]

Clearwire offers Expedience based services in 17 markets in the United States and in certain markets in Belgium. Customers can choose either the Motorola Expedience Residential Subscriber Unit (RSU) or the Motorola Expedience PC Card in both a PC Card and ExpressCard. The RSU incorporates automatic adaptive modulation for increased throughput and network capacity. Users are connected to the Internet at indoor locations throughout the entire system's coverage area. The unit functions as an Ethernet bridge (Layer 2) device, interfacing a standard Ethernet over twisted pair connector. The PC Card incorporates the same automatic adaptive modulation for increased throughput and network capacity with the added portability of a laptop CardBus card.

Clearwire formerly offered Expedience based services in Ireland & Denmark until operations in those countries were purchased by Imagine Communications and ERLO Group, respectively. In January 2011 Clearwire discontinued services based on Motorola Expedience technology in Spain in favor of Instanet branded 4G WiMAX service.

VoIP[edit]

Clearwire also offers its own Voice over IP service in some areas for an additional monthly fee.[44]

Clear wireless retail store in the borough of Manhattan, New York, New York, United States

Wholesale products and services[edit]

Sprint Corporation (Clearwire's parent company) resells Clearwire's 4G network service as Sprint 4G WiMax in over 70 markets across the United States.[45] Other Clearwire investors Comcast and Time Warner Cable resell Clearwire’s 4G mobile broadband service in a number of markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Portland among others bundled with their cable, home phone, and residential Internet services.[46][47]

On June 4, 2010 Sprint Nextel introduced the first commercially available 4G cellphone in the U.S. the HTC EVO 4G. The device combines Clearwire’s 4G network with Sprint’s 3G network and Google’s Android operating system, creating a multimedia-heavy device Sprint hoped would set it apart from 3G smartphones like the Apple iPhone.[48]

Criticism[edit]

In 2005, Clearwire drew criticism from phone operator Vonage. Vonage claimed that Clearwire and other ISP's were blocking Vonage's services. Testing showed that contrary to Vonage's claims, Vonage calls were being connected over the Clearwire network.[49]

In September 2010, Clearwire introduced a dynamic network management system to limit users who consume disproportionate amounts of wireless data. Certain users claimed that their terms of service were modified retroactively to reflect the new policy, and Clearwire itself has unofficially acknowledged this claim.[50][51]

In the summer of 2012, Clearwire reached a settlement to provide partial refunds of termination fees and service credits for individuals who experienced throttling as part of their dynamic network management policy. The settlement allows Clear to continue throttling connections under certain circumstances as long as their advertising reflects this.[52]

In September 2013, Clearwire in Spain operating under the brand Instanet cut off all of its services, web and phone lines without prior notice. Spanish consumer associations are gathering evidence of possible overcharging.[53]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clearwire Corporation (2012-02-16). "Form 10-K Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 Commission file number 001-34196 Clearwire Corporation". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Clearwire Promotes Erik Prusch to President and CEO; Names John Stanton Executive Chairman (NASDAQ:CLWR)". Corporate.clearwire.com. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  3. ^ Q4 and Full-Year 2010 Financial Results http://newsroom.clearwire.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=214419&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1530258&highlight=
  4. ^ Net loss attributable to Clearwire corporation is ($487,437) which represents the net loss less non-controlling interests in net loss of consolidated subsidiaries of (1,815,657) per Q4 and Year-End 2010 Earnings Results
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Clearwire, Inc.". fundinguniverse.com. FundingUniverse. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  7. ^ a b "Softbank to Buy 70 Percent Stake in Sprint: Sources". CNBC. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sprint and SoftBank Announce Completion of Merger | Sprint Newsroom". Newsroom.sprint.com. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Jeff Bounds (April 16, 2004). "Fixed wireless play/Telecom billionaire Craig McCaw snaps up Clearwire Holdings, eyes 'ITFS' space". Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  10. ^ "McCaw Places New Bet On Faster, Cheaper Access; Clearwire to Launch Cellular Internet Service". 
  11. ^ "What's News". 
  12. ^ Clearwire Reports First Quarter 2008 Results
  13. ^ "Intel, Motorola put up $900 million to save WiMax". Fortune (CNN). July 6, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  14. ^ "Clearwire Secures $900M in Financing...". Motorola Media Center. July 5, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Clearwire/Sprint Nextel partnership". Clearwire Corp. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  16. ^ "Clearwire 2007Q3 Report". Clearwire Corp. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  17. ^ Sharma, Amol; Karnitschnig, Matthew (January 30, 2008). "Sprint Nextel in New WiMax Bid". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  18. ^ "Sprint WiMax Venture May Get $1.5 Billion, People Say (Update3)". Bloomberg L.P. March 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  19. ^ "Shares of Clearwire fall after IPO". Associated Press. March 8, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  20. ^ Moritz, Scott (February 15, 2008). "Sprint, Clearwire Near WiMax Deal". TheStreet.com. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  21. ^ "Sprint Gives up Majority Vote at Clearwire". Goingwimax.com. 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  22. ^ Clearwire, Sprint Nextel to form $14.55B wireless company
  23. ^ "Clearwire News". Gold Coast Wireless. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  24. ^ Price, Christopher (1 December 2008). "Sprint Completes Clearwire Merger, Clear Will Replace XOHM". Phone News. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  25. ^ Savitz, Eric (March 9, 2009). "Clearwire Names Morrow CEO; Wolff Now Co-Chair". Barron's. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  26. ^ "Lawsuit by Clearwire Subscribers Alleges Misleading Advertising and Unlawful Early Termination Fees". Thomson Reuters. April 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  27. ^ "Clearwire Subject Of Class Action Complaint". Information Week. April 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  28. ^ Cook, John (31 December 2010). "Clearwire founder Craig McCaw resigns from board". Tech Flash. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  29. ^ Clearwire Announces Election of John W. Stanton as Chairman of Company Board of Directors http://newsroom.clearwire.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=214419&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1516735&highlight=
  30. ^ Clearwire Names Chairman John W. Stanton as Interim CEO
  31. ^ Press Release
  32. ^ Troianovski, Anton; Wirz, Matt; Lublin, Joann S. (November 19, 2011). "Clearwire May Skip Debt Payment". The Wall Street Journal. 
  33. ^ Yieke, Lennox (16 October 2012). "Sprint will not Buyout Clearwire, Sending Shares Plummeting". ValueWalk. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  34. ^ "Sprint Nextel assumes majority stake in Clearwire". Reuters. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Sprint to Acquire 100 Percent Ownership of Clearwire for $2.97 per Share". Sprint. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Sprint Beats Dish's Latest Bid for Clearwire". Dealbook. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Sprint Acquires Clearwire After Stockholders Approve Merger". The Motley Fool. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Sprint and SoftBank Announce Completion of Merger". Sprint. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Motorola Expedience Overview". Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  40. ^ Hamblen, Matt (January 7, 2009). "Clearwire launches WiMax service in Portland". Computer World. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  41. ^ "4G Wimax Internet Coverage Map with Service Area". CLEAR. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  42. ^ CLEAR performance claim is based on average download speeds attained during tests conducted by CLEAR on the CLEAR commercial network.
  43. ^ "Clearwire Belgium Launches Commercial Service in Brussels". News release. Motorola, Inc. May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on June 16, 207. Retrieved August 29, 2011. 
  44. ^ "S-1/A SEC Filing, filed by CLEARWIRE CORP". Edgar Online. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  45. ^ "Sprint extends 4G coverage to wholesale". Engadget. August 3, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  46. ^ Business Wire (2010-10-18). "Clearwire, Comcast and Sprint to Launch 4G in San Francisco". Business Wire. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  47. ^ Maisto, Michelle (2010-10-18). "Sprint, Clearwire, Time Warner to Bring WiMax 4G to NYC". eWeek. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  48. ^ Fitchard, Kevin (29 March 2010). "Clearwire, Sprint kick off 2010 4G rollout". Connected Planet. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  49. ^ Charny, Ben (April 6, 2005). "Vonage says Clearwire interfered with VoIP calls". CNET News. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  50. ^ "Confirmed: Clear WiMax Bandwidth Throttling « Promit's Ventspace". Ventspace.wordpress.com. 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  51. ^ Dampier, Phillip (4 October 2010). "Clear Admits Throttling Subscribers Despite Marketing Claims; Customers Revolt Over Bait & Switch Service". Stop the Cap!. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  52. ^ "Dennings v. Clearwire Corporation - FAQs"
  53. ^ "(Spanish) Instanet ha paralizado su actividad tras cobrar irregularmente a sus clientes según Facua"

External links[edit]