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Thread: Craig McCaw to Resign as Clearwire Chairman

  1. #1
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    Craig McCaw to Resign as Clearwire Chairman

    Craig McCaw is leaving the board of Clearwire Corp., resigning his position as chairman of the company he founded to roll out the first nationwide U.S. wireless broadband network.
    The Kirkland, Wash.-based company announced Mr. McCaw's departure in a securities filing Thursday evening. Clearwire didn't say why he was stepping down, but said the move didn't reflect any disagreements over operations or policy at the company, which is heavily indebted and seeking new funds. The resignation takes effect Friday and leaves Mr. McCaw with no formal role at the company.


    Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...#ixzz19h8AbFZn

    The plot thickens. I wonder if the new chairman will be more receptive to the concerns of its partners. It will be interesting in the new year.

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    I guess this means Sprint and the other big investors won. I would expect a much more docile Clearwire from now on, with a renewed focus on acting as a wholesaler.

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    Eagle River Holdings, which has a 4 percent stake in the company, will nominate McCaw's replacement on the board, Clearwire said. Eagle River plans to nominate Ben Wolff, who was a co-chairman of Clearwire until early 2009, for the spot.

    Read more: Craig McCaw resigns as Clearwire chairman - FierceWireless http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/...#ixzz19hOCQq87

    Clearwire's Craig McCaw to Step Down as Chairman Today

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...s-company.html
    Last edited by 503ducati; 12-31-2010 at 11:08 AM.

  4. #4
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    Well, when McCaw leaves, you know something isn't Kosher. He sure bolted from AT&T Wireless before the SingleBar idea was pitched, knowing it was a FAILing ship that needed more than regional support. Then, he went on to back FleetCall/NEXTEL Communications. The guy knows what he's doing.

    Unfortunately for ClearWire, this isn't a good thing. You've got the big bad Google vs. the CableCos now in the boardroom without a solid backing by Sprint as they're looking to ditch WiMAX for LTE, and have plenty of skeletons in the closet over it (Paul Saleh, Gary Forsee and Dan Hesse*). It is pretty clear, from track records, CableCos have little clue how to run a wireless network as was witnessed by Comcast's failure to turn the Amcell AMPS network into anything special under MetroCall, and ditching it to SBC who left it for AT&T Wireless to run. Time Warner Cable is still trying to acclimate to their new network, and having real fun with AmDocs for billing for it. As for Google, do they really want to take a chance on stepping up in a company with no direction, and a lack of a "Clear" (all puns intended) vision? Even then, Google's plans are more ambitious than the 2.5Ghz band can handle. Lack of penetration and a diminishing standard aren't exactly what Google's name is known for.

    Then there's this little thing that Sprint has been working behind the scenes on:


    Source: http://www.dailywireless.org/2010/08...e-to-test-lte/

    Yes, a macrocell base radio that will accept blades to interchange between LTE and WiMAX for a switchover, courtesy of Samsung: http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...b2b_prd_id=158

    So, what does this mean for ClearWire? Well, without a captain to run the ship who knows something about wireless, I'd say it's a punch to the gut. Obviously, TWC still needs to take the training wheels off, and Comcast is laughable since they still haven't closed the deal with NBC Uni yet. Google knows a lot about handsets, apps, the cloud, and their Android software, but that's about it. Who will be the savior??? Please, don't say Timmy D.!!!



    *Timmy Donahue NOT included as his goal was for Flarion Flash OFDM to occupy the 2.5GHz space, not WiMAX... a maneuver by QualComm purchased Flash 100% to force NEXTEL to side with a CDMA carrier for a takeover, hence Sprint, so QualComm could sell more CDMA chipsets on its fledgling pre-4G service, WiMAX
    Last edited by ke4qpf; 01-02-2011 at 06:44 PM.
    I left NEXTEL because:
    1) Gary Forsee for single-handedly killing the mighty NEXTEL
    2) Paul Saleh for coughing up the money for Gary's BIG ideas of grandeur from the NEXTEL cash cow
    3) Timmy Donahue for taking his golden parachute and leaving post-merger when we needed him most
    4) Barry West for regressing iDEN backwards 10 years by killing 6:1 and WiDEN development
    5) Dan Hesse for practicing apathy over sympathy, then prolonging the pain

  5. #5
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    Here's Reuters take on it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuters, 12/31/2010 @ 3:16pm EST

    Craig McCaw resigns as Clearwire chairman

    * McCaw resignation effective Dec. 31

    * Ben Wolff to join Clearwire board

    * Company says there have been no disagreements (Adds analysts' comments)

    NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - - Wireless pioneer Craig McCaw has resigned as chairman of Clearwire Corp (CLWR.O) days ahead of a deadline on critical financial decision by its majority shareholder, Sprint Nextel (S.N).

    Clearwire gave no reason for McCaw's departure but said it was not due to "any disagreements with the company on any matters relating to its operations, policies, or practices."

    The departure comes as Clearwire, which sells high speed wireless access, faces a cash crunch as it needs billions of dollars to finish building a national network.

    McCaw nominated former Clearwire Chief Executive Ben Wolff to replace him on the board. Wolff, a trusted right hand man to McCaw, is widely seen on Wall Street as McCaw's chief negotiator through McCaw's Eagle River Holders investment vehicle, which owns a 4 percent of Clearwire.

    "He's there to watch the investment. If Eagle River needs somebody at the table they'd want Wolf in there; he's a pit bull," said Patrick Comack, Zachary Investment Research analyst.

    Sprint is expected to consider increasing its control of Clearwire and would need to negotiate with fellow stake holders like Eagle River to achieve that aim.

    Sprint has said it has no immediate plans to take full control of the company, in which it already has a 54 percent economic interest.

    "The issue is Eagle River are going to require an ample payment for their stock and whatever they get the public shareholders are bound to get," said Walter Piecyk, analyst at BTIG.

    Analysts said a key financial issue for Clearwire will be the Jan. 2 deadline for Sprint to decide whether to buy $760 million of Clearwire's convertible debt.

    The success of Clearwire is crucial to Sprint, which rents space on the Clearwire network for its own high-speed offerings.

    But relations between Sprint and Clearwire have been less than harmonious in recent times due to disagreements over how much money Sprint owes Clearwire for its network services.

    For its part Sprint has objected to Clearwire's pursuit of a direct retail strategy, which essentially puts it into competition with its majority owner.

    Other Clearwire investors include Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), Time Warner Cable (TWC.N), Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Intel Corp (INTC.O).

    Clearwire needs billions of dollars more funding to complete construction of its high-speed wireless network even after a $1.3 billion debt offering in December.

    Clearwire faces fierce competition from market leader Verizon Wireless, which launched a rival high-speed wireless service in December, and MetroPCS (PCS.N), a regional rival that has started offering high-speed services in some markets.

    AT&T Inc (T.N), the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider, has announced plans to upgrade its network later next year.

    Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L). (Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Sinead Carew in New York, and Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga and Steve Orlofsky)

    Now my next question: How will this Wolff guy vote the 4%? Same fashion, or will he side with someone with direction?

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    Sprint is majority owner, does not like Clear retail strategy, removed it's board members. Clear is falling short on funding, it's founder just resigned. It will be interesting to see if in fact Clear does hold a spectrum sale, which would kind of be a shame.

    Btw had Clear and T-Mobile reached an agreement this last time around Craig McCaw doesn't leave. Well I'm no expert here but I'd have to bet Sprint purchasing Clear outright sooner or later at this point.

    I'd like to see Sprint follow TeliaSonera's impressive 3G/4G 2.5Ghz LTE model which went live Dec. of 2009.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...era-LTE-2.6Ghz

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    Yes, it should prove interesting, but keep in mind the one thing that has killed every implementation of WiMAX from proliferating... the 2.5GHz band. Lack of penetration through things is killing the cablecos' vision of using it as a replacement for wired networks. Google using it for a proposed ISP play seems moot, as they've ventured off into fiber-optics with Topeka. There's really no players left in the game who really want anything to do with it. It was like Sprint swallowed a poison pill in taking it off of NEXTEL's hands when Flash got owned by QualComm, and now they'll be forced to sink it along with the plans of the others... Google for primary ISP anywhere, and Cablecos for Quad Play and wireless ISP.

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  9. #9
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    Well, that all looks fine, but look how much more Mojo you need just to get a signal to penetrate. LTE can do it all from the tower without need for additional deployments to fill dead zones when at 700MHz. All these solutions need further implementations and installations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ke4qpf View Post
    Well, that all looks fine, but look how much more Mojo you need just to get a signal to penetrate. LTE can do it all from the tower without need for additional deployments to fill dead zones when at 700MHz. All these solutions need further implementations and installations.
    They will be "implementations and installations" with many more users per tower on less space via 700Mhz for Verizon's 100 million subs. 700Mhz comes with a catch.


    http://gigaom.com/2010/03/05/whats-s...ns-lte-speeds/


    http://www.dailywireless.org/2010/11...eless-turkeys/

    - WiMAX Betamax. WiMAX was better for internet access. (1) It’s a greenfield operation with simple, flat IP connectivity. LTE adds backward compatibility for legacy phones, raising costs. (2) WiMAX favors TDD, matching asymmetric web browsing. FDD wastes half the channel space just listening. Cellcos bought up TDD spectrum, keeping WiMAX competitors out. (3) WiMAX works on more frequencies, including unlicensed 5.8 and 3.65GHz, and perhaps 700 Mhz or white spaces. (4) WiMAX uses an IEEE license pool, LTE agreements seem more profit oriented. (5) With 20 Mhz and 16m, you can get up to 100 Mbps mobile, or an actual 25Mbps to the home. It replaces DSL. LTE won’t. Too expensive.

    http://4gtrends.com/?tag=700-mhz

    "One of Verizon’s issues will be the small amount of capacity in its initial LTE band, 700 MHz, which will drive it to multiband roll-out fairly quickly. And it is sharing the 700MHz digital dividend spectrum with a patchwork of other carriers, whose own LTE efforts will be in different parts of the band, with consequent roaming challenges."


    Clearwire Spectrum Auction – a bad idea!

    http://www.telecom-cloud.net/?p=673

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    Is Clearwire’s Only Option: Sell to Sprint?

    More here:
    http://gigaom.com/2010/12/31/is-clea...ell-to-sprint/

    "It’s tough to read what McCaw’s exit means. Some, like Michael Mahoney of Falcon Point Capital, wonder if this means the company is going under. That’s an over-reaction. From what I hear, McCaw hasn’t been that active with the company for a long time. Those in the know think it is a non-event, though it could also be something as simple as Clearwire’s largest shareholder, Sprint, finally asserting control over what is clearly its own future."

    "Comcast is too busy fending off the FCC and other regulators as it tries to put a bow on its NBC acquisition. The others are simply irrelevant entities, with neither market clout nor financial muscle. That leaves Sprint!"

    "Sievert pointed out Clearwire has a fundamental asset – spectrum – and that’s what that matters in the end. Sprint, we’ve heard from our sources, is not in the favor of Clearwire selling its spectrum."

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    My prediction is Sprint will turn to LTE, Clear will start to roll out LTE along with Wimax..

    Sprint will continue to use Clear services while building out its LTE network .. Clear will be an LTE wholesaler and Sell Wimax with a retail presence.

    I think Clear will sell spectrum, but it will be to smaller rural carriers that do not pose a threat
    Last edited by rbsremodeling; 01-03-2011 at 04:59 PM.

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    Well, Sprint declined to exercisetheir option to purchase Clearwire debt:

    Sprint Nextel Corp. said it didn’t buy debt from partner Clearwire Corp., which is trying to raise capital to avoid running out of cash.

    “The deadline passed and Sprint did not exercise its preemptive rights to participate,” Cristi Allen, a spokeswoman for Sprint, said. She declined to provide further details.

    http://sprintconnection.kansascity.com/?q=node/1661

    This what happens when you're too full of yourself. If they actually listened to their original investors they might not be in such big trouble.

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    Question.. Does anyone know if Sprint allowed to build out or expand the Wimax network independent of Clear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbsremodeling View Post
    Question.. Does anyone know if Sprint allowed to build out or expand the Wimax network independent of Clear?
    As far as I know, Sprint sold all rights to their spectrum for WiMAX to Clear to shore up its side of the house according to this 2008 MarketWatch report: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/d%C...?dist=hplatest

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