Clearwire held an investors conference yesterday where it claims that by the year 2017 it will have $17.5 billion in revenue. That is an audacious claim from a business that at this time only serves a limited number of markets.
The projected income Clearwire is touting will come from both voice and data services according to InformationWeek. Clearwire goes on to say in the conference that it expects to have 30.8 million subscribers and that as many as 220 million users will have access to its service within the next nine years. On a short term plan, Clearwire says that by 2009 it will offer WiMAX service to between 60 and 80 million people in America.
Clearwire’s outlook on the WiMAX situation over the coming years is rosy, but the level of success it predicts is far from guaranteed. In fact Sprint and Clearwire are the only mobile service providers in the U.S. banking on WiMAX technology. The other mobile service providers including AT&T and Verizon are banking on Long Term Evolution (LTE) for their next generation 4G networks.
News.com reports that Nortel -- a major telecommunications equipment maker -- has opted to not support WiMAX at all. Nortel will instead focus on the more popular 4G wireless technology, which it is betting will be more popular for customers and manufacturers.
Despite the long term outlook for LTE being superior, the most significant advantage of WiMAX is that it is here and will be ready in only a few years. Clearwire’s hope is that it can sign up enough customers in the short term to negate the popularity of LTE among hardware makers and other mobile service providers.
Sprint and Clearwire announced they would combine forces to tackle WiMAX in May 2008.