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WiMAX

Towerstream Delivers 4G to 4GWE

September 1, 2009

Will 'Portability' Lure Businesses to WiMAX?

August 26, 2009

When WiMAX providers talk about the technology's attributes, cellular-like mobility is usually near the top of the list. But for many business users WiMAX's simple portability -- the ability to pick up and move your broadband connection -- may prove to be a more powerful economic and operational lure, the kind of money-saving, hassle-free attribute that gets CIOs interested and gets POs signed.

The power and potential attractiveness of WiMAX's simple portability was one of the surprising themes we picked up on during the reporting and writing of our latest Sidecut Report, titled the Sidecut Reports WiMAX Business Deployment Guide. Available now as a free download, the report also includes a basic primer on what WiMAX is, and where and how businesses can connect to WiMAX services, and some broadband pricing comparisons.

And while there are potentially many customers who might eventually take advantage of WiMAX's ability to support real broadband connectivity while in motion -- we are thinking here of commuters in Chicago and New York, markets that are already on the Clearwire launch schedule -- for right now it's easy to say that most business computing is done by bodies at rest; by people sitting at a desk, a cubicle, a coffeehouse table or somewhere else well lighted and generally stable. Right now those workers' broadband needs are either met by a wired network, or by a Wi-Fi access point tied into a backbone via either DSL or cable modem.

The twist WiMAX adds into this work equation is the ability to unplug that beefy backhaul and move it across the cube, across the hall, across campus or across town -- delivering workspace flexibility not just for individuals, but for entire workgroups who could theoretically be supported by WiMAX services' rather robust plans.





Free Download: WiMAX Business Deployment Guide

August 24, 2009

The Sidecut Reports WiMAX Business Deployment Guide answers the questions businesses small and large may have about the newest wireless broadband technology to hit the U.S. market: What is WiMAX, how can we use it, and how might its features, prices and attributes save us money, enable new business opportunities, or bring more flexibility and connectivity options to our existing workforce?

Prepared in an easy-to-read style with deep background material for those who may not have understood WiMAX before, the report provides a thorough explanation of the technology, the newest devices that connect to it, and how both small businesses and branch or remote offices of larger enterprises might benefit from WiMAX's ability to deliver "bandwidth on demand" without impacting existing network infrastructures.

 In the new report you will learn:

-- How WiMAX compares to existing business broadband Internet access options on a price/benefit comparison

- Why WiMAX's portability, and not necessarily its cellular-like mobility, may be the key selling point for business customers

- Where WiMAX services will be launched in the U.S. this year and next

- What devices are available for businesses to connect to WiMAX now, and in the near-term future

- How flexible pricing and "try before you buy" options may make WiMAX a low-cost, low-risk option

The report also provides a brief historical background on the origins of WiMAX, as well as a cost-comparison matrix for WiMAX and competing broadband services in the Portland, Ore. market. Download your free copy today!















Clearwire Adds Just 12,000 Subscribers in Q2

August 13, 2009

Highlights (or lowlights) from the Clearwire Aug. 11 earnings call (the press release is here):

-- Clearwire reports 12,000 net subscription adds for Q2, down from 25,000 for Q1. Ouch. Execs on the call say this number is good and signups are strong, but no getting around the fact that 12,000 is not a big number. Remember this is all mainly Portland, since Vegas/Atlanta didn't launch until end of quarter. The net adds includes losses from pre-WiMAX subscribers, which may be significant.

Clearwire Adds Huawei to Infrastructure Suppliers List

August 12, 2009

In a separate announcement before its earnings call Aug. 11, WiMAX provider Clearwire announced that China's Huawei has joined its list of infrastructure vendors, specifically to provide radio access network (aka RAN) equipment. According to the press release:
Specifically, Huawei will provide several key infrastructure pieces, including base stations, element management system (EMS) components, and related network hardware and software.

Clearwire said former suppliers Motorola and Samsung remain on the WiMAX provider's preferred list, along with Cisco, Ciena and microwave backhaul specialist Dragonwave.

According to Clearwire chief technology officer John Saw, Huawei will be providing base station technology that offers "a significant improvement in coverage and quality," thereby leading to lower costs for Clearwire network deployment. The Chinese supplier's aggressive pursuit of matters WiMAX includes 2,000 engineers working on WiMAX, according to Charlie Chen, senior VP of marketing for Huawei USA.

Clearwire said Huawei gear will first be used in Hawaii and Seattle, two markets where Clearwire has scheduled live rollouts for 2009.




Clearwire adds 10 new '4G' markets in old pre-WiMAX cities

August 3, 2009

In what seems to be now a standard practice, the folks at Clearwire are launching markets by first making them available on their coverage map page, followed by "official" launches a month or so later. We are not sure of what the difference is -- to us, a market is "officially" live when you start charging money for services.

Anyway, even though you can order services now, those new markets we told you about on Saturday will "officially" be open for business Sept. 1, according to a press release from Clearwire today. Here's the direct info from the press release:

Clearwire Communications, LLC, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation, (NASDAQ: CLWR) today announced the official launch day of CLEARâ„¢ 4G service in Boise, Idaho; Bellingham, Wash.; and eight markets throughout Texas, including: Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Killeen/Temple, Waco and Wichita Falls will occur on September 1, 2009. CLEAR offers the first super fast mobile Internet service that works as fast on the go as it does at home.




Straight Shooters

July 28, 2009

The U.S. Army has used technology as its weapon for decades.  Today technology plays a vital part in military success--from gathering top-secret information to manufacturing efficient arms.  
Many military technological applications need broadband service to operate, such as radio communication, video surveillance, and security.  The military must ensure that its communications infrastructure can operate in a large coverage area--such as a battlefield--and is efficiently communicative among its soldiers.  However, finding the right technology was a challenge.
The Army attempted to deal with this issue by developing the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), a program that evolved from a loosely associated group of radio replacement programs to an integrated effort to network multiple weapon system platforms and forward combat units at the last tactical mile. It aimed to create software-programmable tactical radios that would provide soldiers with voice, data and video communications as well as interoperability across the battle space.  The JTRS needed to use a network of wide bandwidth that would also be compatible with the existing waveforms in use by the Department of Defense.  The Army began testing the $6.8 billion JTRS program in June 2003, but the project was set back by several financial obstacles and failed to carry through.  The JTRS was restructured in 2005 to offer other types of warfighter applications using the Global Information Grid (GIG).
Then in December 2006, Motorola began producing the MicroTCA.  The MicroTCA provides a scalable, low-cost network-centric paradigm for effective connectivity between soldiers.  In addition, the MicroTCA is ruggedized in order to cope with the harsh climate of the battlefield.  In October 2006, Motorola, Intel, and Hybricon developed a ruggedized MicroTCA-based WiMAX demonstration platform at MILCOM, an international conference for military communications.  Combined, the MicroTCA and WiMAX network offered open standards-based subsystems on many different mobile platforms integrated into a high-performance network, physically fit for a military environment.


New marketing message comes through loud and 'Clear' in Vegas

July 23, 2009

Our quick impression from a full day and a half spent inside the Clearwire bubble, at the company's "official" market-launching event in Las Vegas on July 21: The nascent national WiMAX-providing company seems well past its sometimes-confusing stumbles of 2008 and into full execution mode, showing it can put on a confident, coherent local event even as its overall marketing, pricing and demographic messages remain somewhat a work in progress.



The ability to stage a fairly seamless, fun and informative day on the small stage of Las Vegas still doesn't answer how Clearwire will fare when it takes on the bigger challenges of market launches in places like Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia, which still lie ahead on the company's ambitious 2009 rollout schedule. But embedded within the Vegas-flavored parts of Tuesday's proceedings were some new, strong marketing messages, which, if coupled with continued execution on the networking side of things, should bring cheer to Clearwire investors, partners and customers as the WiMAX express rolls onward.

While we'll dive deeper into some of the proceedings and interviews we conducted during the event in later posts and reports, Clearwire followers should remember the line "more for less," which we heard quite often Tuesday and will likely hear again and again at subsequent launches. Until now, a big problem with Clearwire's WiMAX offering has been that the company itself didn't know how to best position it -- how exactly do you best pitch a service that delivers wireline-like broadband with the mobility of a cell phone? Before the Vegas event, you could and often would get different answers depending on which Clearwire executive you spoke to.

Tuesday, several different executives all seemed to be "on message" with the cost-saving idea, making it pretty obvious to anyone listening that Clearwire's promise was mainly about giving you more of what you need -- mainly Internet access -- for less.







Review of the Clearwire Guerrila Marketing Campaign

July 23, 2009

It's not a phone, it's the Internet.

I went to Las Vegas to attend the market launch by Clearwire.

The launch is reaching out to a population of 1.7 Million in a 638 mile area.  The launch today continues the road show by Clearwire as they open up new areas around the country.  The obvious goal is to keep the bandwagon going.  The momentum is certainly heading that way, the stock (NASDAQ: CLWR) has doubled since last year and the company is expanding their rollout strategy.  However, the goal is not upgrading existing customers, but to get new customers.  It's an uphill battle that requires putting Gorilla Marketing to work. 

On Local TV:  Clearwire embraced the town of Las Vegas by having the mayor cut the cat 5 cord and donating 20 WiMAX netbooks to the Virtual High School. Taking a shot at Verizon, Clearwire's commercial features cupcakes with sprinkles, like the sprinkles of the Verizon add, except here the sprinkles shower down from the sky beyond the Skittle showers of commercials gone by. The event ended with 500 balloons containing gifts of service and other gifts being dropped on to the local audience.

Street Warfare: The truck is green, with glass panels surrounding two rooms.  A living room area and complete with laptop and HD Screen, the second room resembles an office which includes a chair, a desk and of course a laptop.  As the truck is driven around Las Vegas, Clearwire employees work in the living room and the office.  On the body of the truck is the statement declaring this is not a truck it's a mobile office.







Samsung Selling Mondi MID for Clear WiMAX, $449 Unlocked

July 22, 2009

When we told you this morning that the Samsung Mondi MID was going to be available soon, we didn't know that soon means now! After chatting with Samsung's Kim Titus, he told us the device is available now in an unlocked format directly from Samsung for $449 ($454.94 with shipping). And on Aug. 1, Titus said the Mondi will also be available in Clear stores and Best Buy locations in all live Clearwire markets (Baltimore, Portland, Ore., Atlanta and Las Vegas), at the $449 unlocked price as well as a $349 option with a two-year Clear contract.

We played around with the device a bit at the Clearwire Las Vegas launch event, and were impressed how well the touch-screen and software keyboard works. There is a hard keyboard too.

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