There has been quite a bit of news in the last week concerning the 4G revolution. I reported in a past article to expect some news from Sprint. Then just last week, Sprint says it will not be embedding or supporting WiMax in their devices in 2012, or Clear for that matter.
Now I wouldn’t read into that too much. What I got from that press was this: They are not supporting WiMax any longer–LTE is another entity. I also reported that Clear would be making some big news. So, right after Sprint came out in favor of LTE, Clear shares some of the same spotlight with their new LTE path.
I also read some press about Sprint devices being embedded with both TD-LTE and FD LTE. To me, that says Sprint and Clear are moving away from WiMax. They are certainly not washing their hands of Clear. If Sprint has learned anything, they know the value of that spectrum and the future of true 4G speed is in that massive 2.5 GHZ pipe. They also know the value of being able to utilize that network to offload data and keep their network flowing. In fact, Sprint learned that from watching what happened to AT&T, and how their network was not ready for prime time. As a result AT&T took a nose dive from the introduction of the iPhone and all that data flow crashing, or crushing their legacy voice gear.
Sprint is ready to go forward, and they’re saying get on the LTE train, or get left behind. I also wrote an article last year about how Clear should have made this decision back then. But because of the Sprint ties, and an in-place echo space that needed no disruption, they waited, and that cost them an LTE run-away that’s put them in a last place position. There are many reasons for this, and they’re all corporate. There are also many other investors and let’s just say, they did not want to upset the apple cart.
If Sprint really wants to make some 4G news, try offering a 4G-only plan on WiMax-embedded devices for $45 a month. Here’s my recommendation for Sprint: You’re paying Clear $10.00. At $45 a month, that makes $35 profit, and you didn’t even have to build the network. You might just get the attention of investors, and you and Clear will be off and running with the fastest LTE available.
Then, after the news of Sprint treating Clear like a red headed step child with no more WiMax, Clear is in talks with PCS, which is Sprint, and Verizon. This brings us back to all that spectrum. There are so many ways Clear can contribute in this space, by providing an off-load port for all the telecoms, or being the backhaul to devices. And it’s not even dependent on Clear being built all the way out.
This is how I see the situation morphing into an awesome path. If Sprint starts to build out their LTE, while Clear continues to get their truck roll on, they would be building at twice the speed. Now, if these devices are on either a TD or FD LTE network, this is some common ground. At some point their paths will meet, and bam, they have not only caught up but have passed the competition, as this is the realm of true 4G. And if the goal was to build out advanced LTE, the fat lady will have sung.
It looks to me like all the carriers are going to find a way to access the Clear spectrum. Clear may well become an integral part of all things 4G, on all devices before this is over.