Clearwire announced its 2008 fourth quarter and yearly results this afternoon, and while it’s true the telecom provider lost $118 million in the fourth quarter and $432.6 million for the year, I’m choosing to stay positive. So let’s focus on the new info grabbed from the earnings release in regards to the Clear WiMAX network.
The fourth generation WiMAX network is official in Portland currently. Clearwire, which took over the fourth generation rollout from Sprint last year, expects to have 120 million Americans in 80 markets covered by Clear in 2010.
This year, Clear launches are planned for Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia and Seattle. New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area are expected to be the first launches of 2010.
In terms of new products, not only will Sprint have the dual-mode 3G/4G modem this summer, but Clearwire will launch a Clear accessory that acts as a personal hotspot combining 4G and Wi-Fi. That is expected to be launched at the end of this month (initially it was expected in February).
Furthermore, Clearwire expects to have 100 mobile WiMAX device such as netbooks and handhelds available by the end of 2009.
The big question for Clearwire is whether its cash flow will hold up. Of the $3 billion recently raised in financing, $1.5 billion to $1.9 billion will be spent this year. While I’m expected big losses for Clearwire over the next couple years as a natural condition of building the Clear network, will there be enough cash to get it done in the end?