T-Mobile Seeks Spectrum For Next Gen Network; Clearwire Software Upgrade Allows WiMax to LTE Switch

Last week, the telecom and wireless industry collectively lifted their eye brows and took notice of a piece of rumor that T-Mobile USA is interested in Sprint.  Immediately, folks started dismissing the notion and began to

However, more reports surfaced that T-Mobile USA was interested in spectrum for 4G deployment and the gov and Clearwire had the goods.  Perhaps a strategic partnership is what T-Mobile may be seeking but a complete buyout isn't necessarily out of the picture

In fact, as dedicated to WiMax Clearwire seems to be to the 4th generation wireless standard, the curious statement is that Clearwire isn't married to the standard.  It's stance has always been provide network neutral solution as its CEO Bill Morrow made clear.  And this is the interest part:   it is possible for wireless provider to switch from WiMax to LTE with a switch.

Alright.  Not as simple as a switch.  All they need to do is to update the software in the towers.  That's it.  Well, I'm guess that's not "it" since it will also take time for that to happen should Clearwire decide to go down that path.  I am guess that's because by the time they decide to do that, they would have thousands if not tens of thousands of subscribers.  I doubt those WiMax mobile warriors will be happy to suddenly have their services cut off.  I'm sure that won't happen.

However Clearwire makes that wireless standard switch if at all, such a partnership between T-Mobile and Clearwire could have immediate impact on mobile warriors.  Clearwire will have the resources of a big partner in T-Mobile USA's German parent company and T-Mobile users will be able to sleep better knowing T-Mobile has a roadmap to 4G.

More in Clearwire's option to switch from WiMax to LTE via software upgrade at PreCentral.  This fact came as a surprise to us but a welcoming one.

Just as there are issues with a T-Mobile-Sprint marriage, there will also be issues to deal with should Clearwire decide to make the switch from WiMax to LTE.  There are current subscribers they have to deal with.  My guess is any upgrade to LTE will allow for current WiMax users to made the lateral switch (I hesitate to use the word "upgrade) to LTE access.  That would mean upgrading handsets, access cards, and other devices.

One other complication is Sprint, which owns 51% of Clearwire.

But the benefits of this is clear for all mobile users.  And T-Mobile potentially leapfrogs over its other competitors, Verizon Wireless and ATT.

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