Clearwires Losses, Revenues Grow

Clearwire, the high-speed mobile 4G operator closely aligned with Sprint Nextel, more than doubled its revenues in the first quarter of 2011 over the comparable period a year ago, but its losses also grew significantly.

Revenues climbed from $106.7 million in the first quarter of 2010 to $242 million as the company added 1.8 million subscribers mostly through its wholesale relationships with other communications providers like Sprint.  

The mobile operator reported a net loss attributable to the company of $227 million, or $0.93 per basic share, more than double its loss of $94 million a year ago.  The Kirkland, Wash.-based company said its loss included the impact of $202.2 million in non-cash writeoffs.

Clearwire ended the quarter with about 6.15 million subscribers, including 1.29 million retail and 4.86 million wholesale customers. Clearwire said it expects to end the year with 9.5 million subscribers.  Thats an improvement over the companys previous forecast of 8.8 million customers.

During the quarter, Clearwire and Sprint announced resolving disputes over the prices Sprint pays Clearewire for access to its high-speed mobile network.  Sprint, which owned a 54 percent stake in Clearwire as of Dec. 31, 2010, has agreed to pay Clearwire a minimum of $1 billion during the next two years for fourth-generation wholesale services.

Strategic investors in Clearwire include Intel Capital, Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

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