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Clearwire: 2 Million Subs By End Of 2010

2010-03-01 09:23 by
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Clearwire, the wireless broadband company whose backers include Comcast and Time Warner Cable, expects to triple WiMax subscribers this year to hit about 2 million.

The company had a total subscriber base of 688,000 as of Dec. 31, 2009. Of those, 46,000 were wholesale subscribers from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Sprint, each of which owns an equity stake in Clearwire. Clearwire is bullish on racking up more subs through Sprint and the cable partners in the year ahead. "We are seeing a great ramp in the wholesale business and we are very optimistic about the future," Clearwire chief financial officer Erik Prusch said on the company's earnings call Wednesday. He noted that most of the 46,000 wholesale adds came in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Clearwire launched WiMax in 13 markets including Chicago, Dallas and Philadelphia. In 2010, it expects to build out its network to cover the top 100 U.S. markets, with a service footprint of up to 120 million people, with new markets expected to include New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Minneapolis and Kansas City.

The next market to launch will be Houston and is scheduled to go live in the coming weeks, Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow said, also on the call. "We expect the bulk of our 2010 market launches to take place toward the end of this year," Morrow said. "While the network build activity is well underway across dozens of new markets, we are studying our experience in those already launched and working with existing and future wholesale partners to optimize our subsequent launches."

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