Clearwire Pulls Back on LTE Build-Out

Posted by at 9:47 am on October 26, 2012

Clearwire indicated that it has significantly cut down plans to deploy TDD-LTE cell sites during 2013. The company originally intended to activate about 5,000 TDD-LTE sites around the country by the middle of 2013. Clearwire has reduced that number by 60%, down to just 2,000 sites.

“We want to make sure our LTE network is built in conjunction or alignment with Sprint introducing devices capable of using it,” explained Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch during the company’s quarterly results call with analysts. “This is prudent and it preserves cash so we don’t build in advance of the revenue stream.” Prusch noted that Sprint won’t debut devices capable of using its 2.5GHz LTE network until the second quarter of 2013, and won’t bring a 2.5GHz-capable LTE handset to the market until the third quarter of 2013.

Clearwire said that it will have about 800 TDD-LTE sites up and running by the end of this year and should activate the 2,000th site by June 2013. Many of Clearwire’s cell sites are LTE-ready, requiring only a minor equipment and software update to switch to LTE.

Sprint’s current LTE hardware uses its 1900MHz PCS spectrum.

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