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Clearwire released their Q4 2012 Earnings Yesterday

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Clearwire released their 4th quarter 2012 financials and held their earnings call yesterday. Not really much to note.

 

Here's the press release: http://finance.yahoo...-210100690.html

 

Highlights:

  • Revenues up 1% from last year.
  • Subscribers down 8% from 10.4 million to 9.6 million

Here's the earnings transcript: http://seekingalpha....ipt?part=single

 

There was not comment about the pending merger with Sprint or the DISH offer, except to say that they were pending and DISH's offer had been considered. They did say that the Company might tap into some of the financing offered from Sprint as part of the deal in order to make it through the year and continue their LTE buildout.

 

I think most of us here only care about how Clearwire's LTE build out is going so here is the relevant sections from the earnings call.

 

TDD LTE Buildout:

 

CEO Erik Prusch: Against our second goal of making significant progress in our LTE advance ready network build, we begun to ramp our build activity in fourth quarter 2012 and exceeded our target of 800 fully commissioned sites with more than 1,000 LTE X sites awaiting connection to Sprint’s core network at yearend. We remain on track to meet the 4G MVNO agreement build milestones of 2,000 LTE sites on air by the end of June 2013, increasing to 5,000 LTE sites on air by the end of December 2013.

To that end, we currently have approximately 2,700 notice to proceeds in hand. Early test of our initial LTE advance-ready sites have produced peak downlink speeds of approximately 60 megabits per second. In addition, by leveraging an inherent benefit with TDD Systems, we will have the option to significantly improve on these downlink speeds by further optimizing the amount of spectrum resources we assign to the downlink if we see a customer need for that in the future. I would caution that these rates are based on a brand new, unloaded network so actual experiences when commercially available may differ materially, but we believe these fact speeds demonstrate the significant advantages our network will offer.

 

On LTE Data Roaming:

 

CEO Erik Prusch: We were also pleased to see developments for many of our GTI founding partners during the fourth quarter. We believe that China mobile has continued to make significant progress on its TTD-LTE build and is now focusing on expanding it to 200,000 TDD-LTE site networks by the end of 2013. As mentioned on our third quarter call, China has announced plans to award TDD-LTE spectrum licenses that will use the same 3GPP Band class 41 as Clearwire and GTI members, including Softbank Mobile, across the entire 190 Megahertz of their 2.5 Gigahertz spectrum, which we believe will result in significant economies of scale and innovation for us and our partners.

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Which does raise a question. How many of the sites Clearwire is currently working or will have finished at the point the deal goes through will stay? Is Sprint working closely enough with Clearwire to only have them build out sites where Sprint needs them?

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Which does raise a question. How many of the sites Clearwire is currently working or will have finished at the point the deal goes through will stay? Is Sprint working closely enough with Clearwire to only have them build out sites where Sprint needs them?

 

I wonder about this too. If the Clearwire deal does go through with Sprint, I would like Sprint to be able to add Clearwire LTE on the Network Vision Sprint sites so that it can save cash on tower leases, power, backhaul, permits etc on Clearwire sites. Adding Clearwire LTE would be easy on the Network Vision equipment.

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I guess they're only using 10Mhz channels.

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I guess they're only using 10Mhz channels.

 

Possible, but I am skeptical that you could get 60 Mbps downlink out of a 10 MHz TDD LTE carrier with 2x2 MIMO. I found Prusch's statements ambiguous, but my guess is a 20 MHz TDD LTE carrier with a significant percentage of time allocated to the uplink. Though I could be wrong, I suspect he is using "spectrum resources" as synonymous with time for a TDD airlink.

 

AJ

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Possible, but I am skeptical that you could get 60 Mbps downlink out of a 10 MHz TDD LTE carrier with 2x2 MIMO. I found Prusch's statements ambiguous, but my guess is a 20 MHz TDD LTE carrier with a significant percentage of time allocated to the uplink. Though I could be wrong, I suspect he is using "spectrum resources" as synonymous with time for a TDD airlink.

 

AJ

 

The Samsung RRU's that do simultaneous WiMax/TD-LTE are capable of a 20MHz TD-LTE carrier with 2x2 or 4x4 MIMO.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zj4l3oa3q2f4xby/Sasmung%20WiMax%20TD%20LTE%20RRH.pdf

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/acihk3h0m65tn54/Samsung%20WiMax%20LTE%20RRH%202.pdf

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The Samsung RRU's that do simultaneous WiMax/TD-LTE are capable of a 20MHz TD-LTE carrier with 2x2 or 4x4 MIMO.

 

Honestly, I would prefer that Prusch's stated peak downlink speeds be referenced to 2x2 MIMO, as 4x4 MIMO is going to be basically an edge case for still a while to come.

 

Oh well, we will get some greater clarity on TD-LTE in the coming months. If Clearwire does not say whether it is using 10 MHz TDD or 20 MHz TDD carriers, my spectrum analyzer will.

 

AJ

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Possible, but I am skeptical that you could get 60 Mbps downlink out of a 10 MHz TDD LTE carrier with 2x2 MIMO. I found Prusch's statements ambiguous, but my guess is a 20 MHz TDD LTE carrier with a significant percentage of time allocated to the uplink. Though I could be wrong, I suspect he is using "spectrum resources" as synonymous with time for a TDD airlink.

 

AJ

 

I thought the same thing at first. But then I recalled that VZW and ATT 10MHz channels can achieve peak speeds around 70Mbps. So a 10MHz TDD LTE carrier should reach close to that, if they kept their upload time slots minimal.

 

A 20MHz TDD LTE carrier could reach over 100Mbps with appropriate backhaul. One of our Clearwire sources hit over 100 in testing.

 

Initially, I though Prusch may have been saying 60Mbps is a burdened real world speed, but I went back and reread that he is saying this 60Mbps is the unburdened speed. I'm starting to think they are going with 10MHz carriers here.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

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I thought the same thing at first. But then I recalled that VZW and ATT 10MHz channels can achieve peak speeds around 70Mbps. So a 10MHz TDD LTE carrier should reach close to that, if they kept their upload time slots minimal.

 

Here is my back of the napkin math. A 10 MHz FDD carrier with 2x2 MIMO is capable of 73 Mbps on the downlink. A 10 MHz TDD carrier should expect roughly 10 percent loss simply due to guard periods in between downlink and uplink slots. Then, additionally, subtract the percentage of time allotted to the uplink.

 

Even if the uplink allocation is pared down to the absolute bare minimum, 60 Mbps on the downlink seems like a stretch in 10 MHz TDD. But maybe the actual peak speeds are in the 55 Mbps range, and Prusch is rounding up. Regardless, I need to do more research on the TD-LTE standard to better understand the variability between downlink and uplink time allocations.

 

AJ

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Guest 503ducati

http://www.lightread...cture/240148461

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearwire Colors in 4G LTE Picture

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 13, 2013 | Dan Jones | Post a Comment

 

 

Tweet

 

 

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Clearwire Corp. has started to fill in details of its planned LTE TDD buildout, most likely in conjunction with longtime 4G partner Sprint Nextel Inc.

 

 

Clearwire has been testing Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) -- also called TD-LTE -- in Phoenix for more than a year. CEO Erik Prusch said on the company's earnings call Tuesday that the operator now has more than 800 of the LTE TDD sites ready to be connected to Sprint's core network.

 

The operator is planning to have 2,000 sites up by June 2013 and 5,000 sites by the end of the year. The full buildout calls for 8,000 of the faster 4G sites to be deployed.

 

Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran said that "up to $250 million" of the capex for the build will come from vendor financing. Clearwire has named Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and Samsung Corp. as its LTE TDD suppliers.

 

"Early tests of our LTE sites have produced peak downlink speeds of 60Mbit/s," CEO Prusch noted. He pointed out that this was on an unloaded network and commercial speeds will be different, but added that because of the nature of LTE TDD the operator will be able to boost download speeds further.

 

Clearwire has also been testing 2.5GHz TD LTE devices at the test site in Phoenix with China Mobile Ltd. The Chinese giant has made no secret of its ambition to make TD LTE a global 4G standardwith roaming in the 2.3GHz to 2.7GHz range at its core.

 

Would-be Sprint suitor SoftBank Mobile Corp. already has LTE TDD smartphones on its network in the 2.5GHz range.

 

"We can tweak those phones to work on our network," noted Clearwire CTO John Saw. He added, however, that the difficulty is that the voice fall-back capability in the phones runs on GSM. Sprint's voice calls currently run over the CDMA network.

 

The site numbers suggest a more focused network than Clearwire's current WiMAX offering. CTO Saw said that Clearwire has about 15,000 cell sites up and running now.

 

Why this matters

Clearwire wouldn't comment on the proposed $2.2 billion Sprint buyout on the earnings call. Nonetheless, the company's LTE TDD deployments are plainly ready to link this new network to Sprint's 3G and 4G upgrades. The focused LTE TDD build, meanwhile, appears to dovetail neatly with the Sprint concept of adding this fast, video-friendly 4G capacity in big cities to cope with growing demand.

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I thought the same thing at first. But then I recalled that VZW and ATT 10MHz channels can achieve peak speeds around 70Mbps. So a 10MHz TDD LTE carrier should reach close to that, if they kept their upload time slots minimal.

 

A 20MHz TDD LTE carrier could reach over 100Mbps with appropriate backhaul. One of our Clearwire sources hit over 100 in testing.

 

Initially, I though Prusch may have been saying 60Mbps is a burdened real world speed, but I went back and reread that he is saying this 60Mbps is the unburdened speed. I'm starting to think they are going with 10MHz carriers here.

 

Robert via Nexus 7 with Tapatalk HD

 

 

<Q - Ric Prentiss>: Okay. That makes sense. And I think you said, John, was there for some technical questions. John,

I wanted to just get kind of a sense, T-Mobile has been talking a lot about their plans to roll out LTE and how important

contiguous spectrum blocks are. Can you talk a little bit about your spectrum position and what kind of bandwidth you

expect to put out there and how important is contiguous?

<A - John C. B. Saw>: We have an average of 160 MHz of spectrum in the top 100 markets and initial rollout for

LTE, we're rolling out systems using 20 MHz of channelization. And then, we'll see what happens when the capacity

grows from there. In case of contiguous spectrum, I think 4G's all about building fatter pipes, and obviously, you need

access to contiguous spectrum in order to realize those fat pipes.

 

I know on previous calls/conferences, Clearwire has mentioned that they are all about 20MHz "fat pipes".

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Hmmm interesting... From an iPhone perspective, if the Apple-China Mobile deal happens, and considering SoftBank is Apple's #1 Japanese partner (and the iPhone is now the #1 phone in Japan)... I think this bodes well for support for the 2.5Ghz band.

 

Even if you don't have an iPhone, you should be happy as this ensures maximum offload of that traffic, especially in metro areas.

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