Clearwire has signed an agreement with Chinese infrastructure company Huawei, which may help it stretch its resources thinner in its efforts to build out a nationwide WiMax network. For Huawei, the deals marks its first top-tier player in the U.S., where it has struggled to gain a foothold. Release.
Typically, Huawei has won much of its business by undercutting the competition. Its cost-savings pitch also helped convince Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR). While the Kirkland, Wash.-based company has been able to raise considerable sums from the public markets, and also from Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and cable operators, it’s likely feeling the pressure to show commercial progress before going back to the coffers again. Making the most out of the cash it has today is crucial (The company reported Q2 results today). The WSJ reports that Huawei’s equipment will allow Clearwire to more cheaply deploy its network. Clearwire’s CTO John Saw said improved receiver performance means fewer cell sites, leading to cost-savings of 20 to 30 percent. Clearwire plans to deploy about 20,000 base stations at a cost of $150,000 each. “The cost savings will help,” said Saw, during a conference call.
Clearwire said Huawei will provide several key infrastructure pieces, including base stations and other related network hardware and software. Other infrastructure partners include: Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Samsung for RAN equipment; Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO) for the core IP network infrastructure; Ciena for base station switching; and DragonWave for the network