Free Newsletter

Get the latest news on WiFi, WiMAX, muni WiFi and other hot wireless broadband topics and technologies.

FierceWiFi brings wireless broadband news to over 48,000 wireless industry insiders. Sign up for the free FierceWiFi weekly email briefing.
 *   *



Based: Kirkland, Washington
Founded: 1998 (spun off from Sierra Technologies)


Why is it Fierce?  Being led by Craig McCaw is a good start. Before founding Clearwire, McCaw built McCaw Cellular Communications into the first nationwide mobile carrier in the U.S., later selling the operations to AT&T in 1997 for $11.4 billion. The company provides WiMAX wireless broadband services using licensed spectrum. Clearwire offers broadband service in more than 200 cities and towns in the U.S., Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, and Mexico. Dozens of additional cities and towns on five continents have access to wireless broadband services through networks built by Clearwire's wholly owned subsidiary, NextNet Wireless. The latter company offers evidence of McCaw's vision: McCaw acquired Minneapolis-based NextNet Wireless in June 2004, making the company a Clearwire subsidiary. Founded in 1998, NextNet introduced the first non-line-of-sight plug-and-play system for delivering high-speed wireless Internet services.

What to look for: Clearwire hopes to raise about $400 in an IPO. Look for the company to use the funds to acquire more spectrum in the FCC's Auction 66, establishing itself as even a bigger player in wireless broadband.


> Back to Fierce 15 list