Only the other day, Clearwire were happily trumpeting their latest WiMAX roll-outs; now there’s talk that they may be considering sidling away from the technology altogether. While their financial results press release talked about Clear-branded Samsung and HTC multi-mode handsets, during the company’s investors call CFO Erik E. Prusch dropped hints that Clearwire were considering converting to LTE.
Asked about the state of 4G networks, Prusch said that the ecosystem was converging and that he didn’t expect to see the same sort of technology wars as there have been in the past. A somewhat cryptic comment that Clearwire would “keep evolving as we move forward” together with confirmation that the company had renegotiated their WiMAX agreement with Intel so that they could drop out with just 30 days notice as opposed to the previous November 28th 2011 lock-in added fuel to the speculation.
Rather than dump WiMAX altogether, Clearwire could move to support both networks; however, that would require multi-mode devices that could handle WiMAX and LTE (as well as legacy technologies for fall-back). With headline devices such as the HTC EVO 4G due imminently it looks unlikely that Clearwire are planning a switch any time soon; however, it also seems they’re definitely keeping their options open.