XOHM and Clearwire merger finalized

Just under a month after the FCC gave them the go ahead, Sprint’s XOHM WiMax service and mobile broadband provider Clearwire are now one.

There’s nothing new actually going on here – just the finalization of a deal that has been in the works for months.

Miss something along the way? Here’s what’s going on:

  • XOHM is Sprint’s WiMax service, which launched on September 29th of this year in Baltimore. Testing and roll-outs are also in the works in Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Dallas, and Philadelphia.
  • Clearwire is a “pre-WiMax” service – essentially just meaning that their products/services were developed prior to the WiMax Forum finalizing their certification standards.
  • They’ve dropped the XOHM name for the time being, with the new WiMax service taking on the Clearwire “Clear” brand.
  • Seeing as neither company is exactly swimming in a river of cash, they’re taking on a $3.2 billion investment from Comcast ($1b), Intel($1b), Time Warner ($550m), Google ($500m), and Bright House Networks ($100m). Is this a good deal for everyone involved? Maybe not.

Of note, however, is a comment from CEO Ben Wolff indicating that from here on out, Clearwire network expansions will be flexible enough that they can make the jump to competing technology LTE if the market heads that way. “We are taking steps to ensure that it’s as future proof as possible…It’s not the technology war that some have made it out to be. It’s nothing like the format battles that we’ve seen between VHS and Beta Max.”