Clearwire has always been a WiMAX provider, but late last year the company conducted some tests using an LTE signal in the Phoenix, Ariz., area and managed to pull down 90Mbps speeds while in a moving vehicle. Back then, Clearwire wouldn't say whether they planned to stick with WiMAX or switch to LTE, but today Clearwire COO Erik Prusch revealed that the company does plan to adopt LTE sometime in the future. "WiMax to date has been a very good technology choice for us," Prusch said. "We were able to take advantage of the speed to market before LTE was even a glimmer in anyone's eye. But we recognize the ecosystem in the U.S. will be larger for LTE than WiMax, so we are conscious of that." He added, though, that the plans for the change aren't definite yet because the LTE ecosystem needs to mature more before Clearwire will completely drop WiMAX.
Considering that both Verizon and AT&T (possibly AT&T-Mobile) have chosen to use LTE with its 4G networks, it certainly seems like it would benefit Clearwire to make the jump to LTE, as Prusch points out. Still, it could be a while before Clearwire does change, not only because they feel that LTE needs to mature some more, but also because the company is still in desperate need of more funding despite the fact that Sprint will be paying Clearwire $1 billion through next year. We'll be keeping a close eye on the situation going forward, so stay tuned.