Some well known and forward-looking Internet companies have decided to jointly invest $3.2 billion to buy Clearwire and form a new wireless data network in the U.S. The companies involved in this project are Google, Comcast, Intel Capital, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners.
A post on the Official Google Blog announced that the newly created wireless network will be a combination of Clearwireâ€™s existing WiMax business, Sprintâ€™s broadband infrastructure and the 2.5 GHz spectrum. The company will be 51% owned by Sprint but will be headquartered in Clearwire’s premises in Washington state.
Michael Mace, a principal at Rubicon Consulting reports that Google will provide search and applications such as Gmail, Maps and YouTube to the network’s users, in exchange for their contribution of $500 million. Clearwire will sell Google Android handsets. Google and Clearwire will also form an open Internet Protocol, which will be coordinated with mobile broadband devices and also Android powered devices.
Google has got a very good deal out of this partnership. If thing go according to plan, they could have direct access to a US-wide network of mobile Internet users for a fraction of the amount Verizon paid for the 700 MHz wireless spectrum.
This new network will allow its customers to choose their software applications, content and handsets as per their requirements. Users will thus be free to employ the openness principles of the Internet and have a mobile broadband experience that isn’t dictated by operator or handset manufacturer limitations.
Clearwire will build and maintain a WiMax network that will be able to support these new open standards for spectrum as well as wireless handsets. This new network will afford its users high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the United States. Users will be free to utilise any lawful applications, content and devices without any kind of censorship or blocking of Internet traffic.
According to Sprint, the WiMax network is not expected to be widely accessible until 2010. These are all forward looking statements and the end results may differ substantially from current projections.