* Says talking to others about common mobile tech
* Clearwire aims to cover 270 million of US population
By Sinead Carew
LAS VEGAS, March 24 The head of Clearwire Corp
CLWR.O said he envisions incompatible network technologies
WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) eventually converging to
form a common standard for high-speed wireless services.
Chief Executive Bill Morrow made the comment when asked
during his keynote session at the CTIA show about his company's
choice of WiMax, which is expected to have a smaller following
among carriers than LTE, which the top two U.S. operators are
embracing as a fourth generation wireless technology.
Morrow told the annual U.S. wireless show that he had
talked with some of the world's top telecom and technology
companies about how this could be achieved, citing discussions
with China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK), Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L) and
Clearwire investor Intel Corp (INTC.O).
The executive said that the industry should focus on the
similarities between WiMax and LTE rather than the differences
in order to bring the technologies together.
"With this overlap, shouldn't we all be thinking how can we
bring it together?" he said.
The executive said his network could be made to support
both WiMax and LTE.
"We're not going to fight a war. We're going to provide our
customers just what they want. Our spectrum is designed and
built so we can add on LTE should we need to," he said.
Clearwire, which is 56 percent owned by Sprint Nextel Corp
(S.N), is building a WiMax network and expects to cover 120
million people in the U.S. with the service by the end of this
year. The day before, Sprint announced its first phone for the
network, which already operates in 27 U.S. markets.
Morrow said that the speed at which Clearwire expands the
network beyond coverage for 120 million people could depend on
the company's success in raising more funding. Late last year
it raised enough financing for this year's network expansion.
"Our objective is to cover 270 million of the population in
the United States with our service," Morrow said.
Bigger rival T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG
(DTEGn.DE), said last week that it was talking to Clearwire
about a potential joint venture under which T-Mobile, the No. 4
U.S. mobile service, could share Clearwire's wireless
Besides Sprint and Intel, Clearwire's other investors
include Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N
and Google Inc (GOOG.O).
The biggest U.S. mobile service -- Verizon Wireless, a
venture of Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group
Plc (VOD.L) -- is building a network based on LTE and expects
to have coverage for 100 million people by year-end. The
second-biggest mobile provider here, AT&T Inc (T.N), also plans
to build an LTE network.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)