I’ve heard rumblings recently that suggest there’s some confusion around Motorola’s role in the Clearwire WiMAX network rollout. Is Motorola providing further infrastructure support? Does Motorola have a role in further US deployments scheduled for this year? The answer is yes and yes. One part of the confusion seems to stem from the definition of infrastructure. There’s IP infrastructure, and there’s WiMAX radio infrastructure. Motorola has been and continues to be a major contributor to the radio infrastructure. I touched base with executive Fred Wright, and here’s what he had to say:
Motorola remains a leading supplier of Clearwire’s WiMAX radio infrastructure and customer premises equipment.
In fact, the Portland, Oregon CLEAR(TM) network is powered exclusively by Motorola’s WiMAX radio access network equipment, and Clearwire customers access their CLEAR service using Motorola’s CPEi 150 (desktop modem) and USBw 100 (dongle). Motorola also is the WiMAX infrastructure supplier for numerous new CLEAR markets that are under development for launch in 2009. Specifically announced (by Clearwire on its earnings call) for launch this summer – Atlanta (which will be Clearwire’s largest market to date) and Las Vegas. Motorola is the infrastructure provider for Clearwire in both of those markets, and we expect they’ll also select devices from our WiMAX CPE portfolio.
As far as Motorola’s global WiMAX success, I refer to two recent data points that are worthy of note. First, in the latest quarterly shipment numbers Motorola stated that the company has shipped 7,500 access points and 475,000 CPE units worldwide. Second, Motorola won yet another WiMAX contract in only the last few weeks. On April 28th, Motorola announced that the company has been selected to power Fiji’s mobile WiMAX network.