Bill Morrow, the CEO of Clearwire, has formally announced his resignation citing personal reasons. Clearwire, the WiMAX operator that Sprint owns a 54% stake in, has yet to post a profit and has been experiencing trouble delivering on their promise of building a competitive 4G network. It all began before even a single tower was built, due to the decision to go with WiMAX instead of waiting for LTE equipment to become available. We don’t blame Clearwire for wanting to be the first to offer a high speed wireless network, but short term thinking has now caused long term headaches. Clearwire founder Craig McCaw left the company in late 2010 because he just couldn’t deal with the mess he’s created.
When a high level executive leaves due to “personal reasons”, that’s the public relations machine trying to make it sound like everything is hunky dory when in reality it’s anything but. Clearwire has been trying to offload some of their spectrum for a while now. No one is biting since it’s in the 2500 MHz band, which limits signal propagation and penetration of buildings. There’s also been talk that Clearwire would partner with T-Mobile, but until we see an official announcement it’s all just speculation at this point. Last fall Clearwire demonstrated that they were in the process of testing LTE equipment and that they could successfully deliver download speeds in excess of 90 Mbps. We’ve been told that by the middle of 2011 we should know whether or not the company will transition to LTE from WiMAX. Russian operator Yota has already performed such a transition so it’s not impossible.
If you’re looking for speed then you’re much better off going with T-Mobile and their 21 Mbps HSPA+ network, soon to be upgraded to 42 Mbps, or Verizon, who will have a slew of LTE capable smartphones out on the market coming out over the next few months.