CHICAGO—Open, open, open. That was the call from Bill Morrow, CEO of Clearwire, in a second-day keynote at 4G World. Morrow took the stage following a flashy video display, showcasing Clearwire’s WiMAX service.
Morrow likened the coming of 4G networks to an unstoppable tsunami, insisting that mobile is headed the way of the Internet, toward an open ecosystem. He concentrated on WiMAX as an existing example of a 4G network, highlighting use-case scenarios from sensory-based device technologies to a future that will inevitably move to the cloud.
The talk came with a smattering of videos, featuring executive testimonies from Clearwire’s partners – Sprint, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. In an effort to highlight the speed and capacity of WiMAX, Morrow showed a demonstration video of a pair of iPhone 3GS’ running a variety of applications, one on a 3G network and one on Clear’s WiMAX service in Portland, Ore.
The idea was to compare and contrast latency and buffering between the two networks. Obviously, WiMAX showed impressive speed against the 3G device, running video and Google Earth with little or no lag.
But it wasn’t all show and tell. Morrow outlined a list of what WiMAX will need going forward. He said that low-power, multi-radio devices are a must, as well as new applications and usage models from developers. And from the network guys, he cited a need for WiMAX-capable pico and femtocells.
By the end of 2010, Morrow said Clearwire will serve 80 markets and up to 120 million points of presence (POP) in the Unites States. He said that a very large part of Clearwire’s strategy going forward depends partly on wholesaling the service, noting that the company is open to providing a solution even for consumer electronics companies looking to offer connectivity for their products.
Of course, Morrow answered the often asked question of whether Clearwire would deal in LTE when the time was right. His answer, which many have heard before, was predictably vague. “Because of the vast spectrum that we have, if a new technology is there that will benefit our customers, of course I’m gonna bolt that to our towers as well,” Morrow said.