Clearwire has a goal of getting its TDD-LTE service up in 5,000 cell sites by June 30th 2013
. Earlier this year the company said it would have LTE coverage in 31 markets
by the middle of next year. With the clock ticking toward that date, CFO Hope Cochran said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that construction on the network would begin this month with work picking up in the fourth quarter. Clearwire won't be offering the service directly to consumers and in fact, Sprint will be Clearwire's biggest customer using the service along with the carrier's own LTE pipeline. Sprint, of course, is Clearwire's largest stockholder.
Clearwire intends to deploy its LTE signal in high-traffic areas and will charge Sprint based on usage of its network. Doing this should enable the company to start bringing in tons of revenue
. Cochran added that Clearwire is "talking to Sprint at all times to make sure it's there when they need it
," referring to its LTE coverage. As far as the cost of building out the pipeline, Clearwire said it will use financing offered by its vendors, whose names it will announce next month.
Clearwire's finances are not in the best condition considering that it is in transition from WiMAX to LTE
. Sprint is paying them $900 million for WiMAX service this year and next. While nothing in its dealings with the nation's third largest carrier prevents Clearwire from signing deals with rival operators, Cochran says that Clearwire and Sprint are aligned and that the LTE rollout will help both companies.