When Clearwire reported their last quarterly earnings they also announced they would be tightening up their purse strings and downsize its staffing. At that time it was unclear where Clearwire was going to secure the funding to continue the nationwide build out of their WiMax network.
Clearwire, started by Craig McCaw of McCaw Cellular/Cellular One fame, is now a joint venture, with their biggest investor being Sprint. This morning Clearwire announced they plan on raising 1.1 billion dollars through offering debt securities in a variety of secured notes some not maturing until 2040.
Prior to this announcement there were wide spread reports that Clearwire would either seek a higher investment from Sprint or have competitor T-Mobile invest in Clearwire. Even after this announcement there is no word whether these negotiations are still on. While 1.1 billion will definitely help Clearwire in the immediate future analysts predict that Clearwire will need up to 3 billion dollars to complete their aggressive roll out.
Clearwire is currently available to 103 million people. Verizon Wireless just announced yesterday that they are rolling out their 4G LTE network Sunday to 38 markets and 60 airports. Verizon Wireless will have 110 million pops at launch. Clearwire’s theoretic speeds are 3-6mbps download while Verizon’s new LTE network will achieve speeds of 10-12mbps. Clearwire is also currently testing LTE.