Clearwire CFO: We want to be the 'Switzerland' of broadband
The company is dealing with funding issues even as it faces pressure on average revenue per user.
Roger ChengFormer Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
ExpertiseMobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social MediaCredentials
SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Further complicating the task is pressure on the average revenue per user, which Cochran conceded would continue through the year and stabilize in 2012. Initially, Sprint would sell USB data cards and hot spots, which offered a lot of consistent usage, and more revenue to Clearwire. But the increased mix of smartphones, which uses the network more sporadically, means lower average revenue per user.
However, as product mix stabilizes and more users come on, things should get better next year, Cochran said.
For its LTE upgrade, Clearwire isn't necessarily interested in expanding into new markets, Cochran said. Instead, the company said two-thirds of the network would get the upgrade, and they would occur in high-traffic areas.
The company is taking a LightSquared-like approach in offering itself as a neutral partner. But unlike LightSquared, which is dealing with concerns over interference with GPS equipment, Clearwire has a network that's up and running.
Cochran said there was an opportunity to provide more capacity to companies, including the cable providers, which are smaller shareholders that already offer WiMax broadband service. She said that the cable companies are still trying to figure out how to include wireless as a service in their bundle, which typically include cable TV, phone, and Internet services.
On Clearwire's relationship with Sprint, Cochran said there are still opportunities to work with Sprint and play a part in its Network Vision plan, which is Sprint's road map for a more flexible next-generation network. She added there was some confusion in the market about what role Clearwire would play in Sprint's 4G plans.