I love when someone smarter than I am follows up on a story. The other day Tim Finnerty sent me a great update on the world of wireless after I posted an update on Clear Wireless coming into Savage.
To start, Clear Wireless is a subsidiary of Clearwire, the wireless company that is affiliated with several big communications players, including some cable operators. According to their website:
“CLEAR is the brand name for next generation mobile internet products and services offered by Clear Wireless, LLC. Combined with significant spectrum holdings, our WiMAX network provides unmatched capacity to deliver next generation broadband access.” “Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) currently provides CLEAR 4G WiMAX service in Baltimore and Portland, and provides pre-WiMAX communications services in 50 markets across the U.S. and Europe. The company offers a robust suite of advanced high-speed Internet services to consumers and businesses. It is currently building a 4G WiMAX mobile internet wireless network, bringing together an unprecedented combination of speed and mobility. Clearwire’s open all-IP network, combined with significant spectrum holdings, provides unmatched network capacity to deliver next-generation mobile internet access. Strategic investors include Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.”
You can read more about Comcast/ Clearwire Mobile WiMax’s move into Portland. Or here.
Tim suggested that “since Comcast is a partner in the Clearwire venture, perhaps Clearwire will piggyback on the cable system infrastructure within other communities in the Metro that are served by Comcast. Comcast might be able to accommodate antenna locations that are already available (thus no need for municipal approvals). Although I have not researched this in great detail, my gut sense had been that Clearwire might use Comcast’s infrastructure in some markets for co-location of equipment and backhaul data transport.
Clearwire has made big news with its recent deployments in Portland and Philadelphia. Maybe this is an indication that the Twin Cities is the next big market.”It sounds as if Apple Valley has received a request from Clearwire to approve tower locations in three parks. (That will be discussed by the Telecommunications Advisory Committee at their Dec. 7th meeting.)
On a potentially related note, Clearwire just raised $920 million more to fund a WiMAX buildout. With it, “Clearwire expects more than 30 million people to be covered by its 4G WiMax service in more than 25 markets by the end of 2009, and with the new financing is targeting network coverage for up to 120 million people by the end of 2010.”
On another potentially related note, John Shepard recently wrote about the FCC and how they “cleared the way for broadband deployment by establishing timeframes of 90 days for collocations and 150 days for all other tower siting applications reviewed by state and local governments. This action will assist in speeding the deployment of next generation wireless networks while respecting the legitimate concerns of local authorities and preserving local control over zoning and land use policies.”
I like John’s take on the announcement, which is super practical – mostly where are the planning and zoning professionals and how is this going to play out? John talks about his experience with a cell tower,
“When Alltel finally put up a cell tower a couple blocks from my house, I really didn’t care that it was a nasty ugly lattice tower. It’s a tower. I get a signal. So what if the out-of-state corporate powers-that-be didn’t think my hometown deserved a mono-pole let alone a stealth cell tower…. Not that I’m bitter or anything.”
He’s funny about it – but really don’t you feel like maybe the tech providers could save themselves some nasty phone calls buy some good will if they worked with the planner to take care of the non-tech details?