Clearwire: We'll have more than 2 million subscribers this year

Clearwire grew revenue and subscribers - and narrowed its losses - in the first quarter and offered a strong outlook for more growth as it rolls out 4G mobile broadband to major markets this year.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Clearwire, a name that we'll be hearing more of this year as 4G mobile broadband continues to roll out, said today that it saw record-breaking subscriber growth in the first quarter and expects to surpass 2 million subscribers before the end of 2010.

From the financial sheets, the company reported first quarter revenue of $106.7 million, a 72 percent increase from the year-ago quarter and a 33 percent gain from the previous quarter. Net loss was $94.1 million, or 47 cents per share. Wall Street had been expecting a net loss of 51 cents on sales of $97.2 million. (Statement)

In a statement, CEO Bill Morrow said:

Customer demand for 4G services is truly making 2010 the year of mobile broadband, as always-on true mobile broadband keeps people connected to the information, services and applications that matter most. With record breaking subscriber growth, a robust wholesale ‘network of networks’ approach to 4G, and customer usage that far surpasses anything seen on 3G networks today, Clearwire is standing at the forefront of the next evolution in telecommunications and technology.

During the first quarter, Clearwire completed the conversion of the Hawaii, Seattle and Carolina markets to its 4G network and, in recent weeks, expanded to five new markets covering nearly five million people, including Houston, TX in March, and earlier this week in Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster and York, PA.

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It also announced today the rollout of 4G mobile broadband this summer in 19 additional cities, including  previously announced markets Kansas City, St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C., as well as new cities such as Nashville, Orlando and Syracuse. It also reiterated its plans to launch 4G network in other major markets by year's end, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, the San Francisco Bay Area, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Finally, the company said it plans to launch two WiMax smartphones this year, an Android-based 3g/4G/WiFi Samsung device optimized for heavy video communications use and a 3G/4G/WiFi enabled phone from HTC.

Looking ahead, Clearwire expects to reach 120 million people by end of 2010, with subscriber levels expected to reach more than 2 million by the end of the year. It added 283,000 net new subscribers, bringing its quarter-end number of subscribers to 971,000.

Shares of Clearwire were down about 2 percent in regular trading, closing at $7.56. Shares were on the rise, up more then 3 percent, in after-hours trading.

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